When is the best time to sell your home?

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It is widely known that there are good and bad times of year to buy and sell certain things; holidays are significantly cheaper if you travel outside the peak summer months, the January sales are a perfect time to kit yourself out with a new wardrobe… and the price of a new car is typically lower in the winter months due to the lack of demand around Christmas. But, could the time of year make a significant difference to the price achieved, if selling your home?

The answer is yes! Read on to find out how and why.

Spring

According to London based surveyors Peter Barry Spring is generally regarded as the best time of year to sell a home. The start of the year is often the time people look to make big changes, including moving home, and the spring months tend to be the busiest of the year for estate agents, with new buyer registrations peaking between February and April. Buyers with school aged children will often want to time their move to coincide with the new academic term, making the spring months the ideal time to hunt for their new home. Additionally, your home will look its best with the sun being out for longer and the garden starting to come into bloom. See The Guardian’s Top Tips for selling your home, here.

Summer

The market tends to slow down over the summer months, particularly during the school holidays. Many people will travel abroad during the summer, and even when not travelling parents will be preoccupied with childcare (toddlers don’t tend to make the best house-hunting companions). If you don’t make the spring market you might want to wait until Autumn.

Autumn

Once the new academic year starts the housing market tends to pick up again. Buyers are back from their holidays, parents freed of their full-time child care obligations, and those looking to move are often keen to tie up their purchase in good time to complete before Christmas. Whist not as busy as spring, Autumn is still a viable time of year to sell your home. So, if you didn’t make it to market in Spring, Autumn is going to be your next best bet.

Winter

Winter is widely regarded as the worst time of year to sell your home – though it depends on the location. The days are short, the weather poor and buyers are preoccupied with Christmas. Very few people will entertain the idea of moving over Christmas (which after all, is a time for eating a drinking too much, not for traipsing around town in the cold and dark to look at houses), and as a result the business of estate agency all but grinds to a halt in December. Buyers often treat houses that have been on the market for a longer period of time with some suspicion, so if you are approaching December with no signs of a buyer in site you may want to take your property off the market with a view to re-listing in the Spring.

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While its helpful to know what time of year the housing market tends to flourish the reality of is, of course, that you will have to sell at a time that’s right for you. Everybody wants to achieve the best possible price for their house, and the time of year you come to market can help, but there will always be other considerations, be it schooling, work or family commitments, which are often time sensitive in of themselves.

However, if you have the luxury of choice it is worth planning ahead and coming to market at the right time. Not only might you get a better price for your home but you may very well sell faster.

Written by Julie Hanson

Julie is passionate about property – development, investment and portfolio planning. Along with husband Alec, Julie is actively building a property portfolio while helping others to do the same.

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