The Best Time of Year to Sell your Property

There are conflicting opinions within the industry about the best time of year to sell a property. If you are thinking about selling you should try to understand the pros and cons of selling at different points in the calendar, but it is also important to assess the prevailing market conditions before considering what will suit your own circumstances best.

Here’s a quick guide to the different selling seasons:
January/February

March/June

July/August

September/October

November/December

JANUARY / FEBRUARY – December tends to be our quietest time of year for listing new property because many people are focussing on Christmas. People naturally tend to put things off until the New Year, but when the festive season is out of the way many people have a renewed sense of resolve to get on with whatever it is they need to do, like move! New Year sellers may also get an advantage by marketing before the spring when there will be more property on the market, and therefore, more competition.

Pros
Beating the spring rush means less competition from other vendors.
New buyers enter the market in the New Year.
First-time buyers often enter the market early in the year, perhaps feeling they’ve experienced one too many Christmases in their parents’ home!

Cons
Gardens don’t look at their best
Poor weather can mean photography of property doesn’t always look at its best (although this can be combated by using an agent that uses professional photographers).



MARCH / JUNE – Traditionally spring and early summer is when the market is at its hottest. The weather is better and gardens start to look more attractive, so buyers are more likely to get a good first impression of the property. There are usually more buyers active at this time of year, so viewing numbers are likely to be higher, and therefore there is a greater chance of competing buyers and higher prices. Families looking for 3 or 4 bed houses often start looking at this time of year hoping to move during the summer holidays so that they can be in their new home before the start of the school year, and because it may be harder for them to be out looking for property during the school holidays when they want to take the family away for a break.

Pros
More buyers active at this time of year, so more viewings.
Tends to be more buyers for 3 and 4 bed houses who want to find something before the holidays.
Gardens look attractive and view better in sunny weather.

Cons
More property on the market, so more competition.



JULY / AUGUST – Buyers at this time of year may well have been looking since the spring or earlier in the year, perhaps they’ve missed out on other properties or have had sales collapse, so by summer they may be motivated to get something tied up quickly – especially if they have kids going back to school in September. Summer could be a good time for sellers who want to prioritise a quick sale. The good weather can also help properties to look at their best.

Pros
Properties look better in the sunshine.
Motivated buyers who want to move quickly.

Cons
Lots of people go on holiday, so there might be fewer buyers around.
It might interfere with your own holiday plans.



SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER – Along with spring / early summer, this is the other traditional hot season for selling. Buyers who have been off the market during the summer holidays will be active again or just starting their search, kids will be back at school so parents will be free to view, and people will be motivated to get into a new home before Christmas.

Pros
New buyers enter/re-enter the market.
Buyers motivated to get into a new home before Christmas.

Cons
Higher chance of miserable weather for viewings and photos.
Fairly short selling season.

NOVEMBER / DECEMBER – The slowest part of the year, but buyers still looking tend to be motivated and might want to buy very quickly if they’ve been trying all year without any luck. There will also be fewer new properties coming to the market, so less competition for sellers desiring a quick sale.

Pros
Buyers at this time of year may be highly motivated to finally get a new place!
Fewer properties on the market, so less competition.

Cons
High chance of miserable weather for viewings and photos.
Fewer buyers on the market.
 


Whenever you decide to sell, make sure you pick a time of year that works for you. There are many unknowns when you sell a property, but you should expect it to take a few weeks to find a buyer and 2-4 months from then until completion. Think about what time of year it is easier for you to allow your agent access to your property and what time of year it would be most convenient for you to move.