09 Mar 2017
“The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese,” as the saying goes. So much in life comes down to good or bad timing and selling property is no different. Time it right and you’ll be well-placed to make a sale but get it wrong and you’ll have plenty of time to look at the sign outside your door.
There are certain times of the year that are particularly good for sellers. Spring has traditionally been a peak time for selling property. The market gets quiet during the summer months but it tends to perk up in September and early October.
So what is it about these months that make them such a good time to sell? A lot of it comes down to simple psychology and old-fashioned common sense. Of course, there’s no guarantee when it comes to selling a house but sticking with seasonal trends can increase your chances of success. Here are just a few things to think about when it comes to the timing of placing your property on the market.
Long days mean more viewings
The stretch in the evenings in springtime means that people can actually view a house in daylight. The same principle applies to late autumn, when the market picks up after the lull of high summer.
It’s easy to underestimate the importance of daylight but nobody really wants to view a house in the dark. Potential buyers want to be able to clearly spot any flaws with the property and see it in its true light.
Having longer days also means that more people can view it after work. You don’t need to be a mathematician to realise that more viewings increase the chance of a sale. It’s just a simple numbers game.
There are obvious benefits to seeing a house in daylight. Potential buyers can check out the natural light in the house, see which rooms catch the setting sun and find out if the garden gets any sunshine. This makes it much easier for them to visualise themselves in the space and it makes all the difference for sellers in terms of getting that sale.
Holidays are a house seller’s enemy
Spring is the best time to make a sale, despite the Easter holidays. Easter was particularly early this year so it proved favourable for sellers, with a clear run of months from spring into early summer.
People tend to buy houses then as they want to get the whole process resolved before summer and the start of the new school year. The school year is obviously a big consideration for families. The middle of autumn is also a convenient time because there’s no major holidays to create distractions or get in the way.
The market tends to dry up in November and December. The build up to Christmas is expensive, everyone’s busy and house hunting takes a backseat. People don’t want to think about buying houses when they’re tucking into their ham and turkey but things start to ramp up again once the festive hangover wears off.
Summer may have good weather and long days but the market takes a traditional dip in July and August. The school holidays are a house seller’s nightmare in more ways than one. With so many families escaping for the summer, your potential market takes a hit. Going on family holidays can also be expensive so it can cool people’s interest around this time.
The potential buyers who stay home tend to be preoccupied with keeping their little darlings entertained during these months. Any parent will tell you that keeping kids busy during the holidays doesn’t leave much time for house hunting.
Interest cools in winter
It’s not just characters from Game of Thrones who get frightened when they hear the phrase “Winter is coming.” Winter can be a grim time for anyone selling a house.
Nobody wants to move house during the Christmas holidays so house hunters start to wind down their efforts as the year draws to a close. Of course, Christmas isn’t the only reason that people don’t like buying in winter.
You only have a few hours of daylight for viewings, the weather’s terrible and everything looks worse when you’re cold or wet. If the house you’re viewing is freezing, it immediately creates a negative impression. It can also be difficult for buyers to get to viewings.
The weather is one potential problem but most people also find it hard to go out into the cold when they’re sitting in a cosy room with a fire!
Looks do matter
People want to visit a home and fall in love with it at first sight. First impressions matter and having an eye-catching exterior can make all the difference. Yes, people are that shallow!
In springtime, your garden is in bloom and the place is starting to look alive again. The same principle applies in September, when the autumnal glow and dryer weather combine to make everything appear that little bit nicer.
The actual house may be the main draw but it’s the whole package that draws people in.
Pulling up to a house that comes with a waterlogged pool of mud and a withered, lifeless tree just doesn’t create the same sense of excitement for prospective buyers. It’s a small thing but selling your home is all about putting your best foot forward and maximising your chances.
Are you in the market for your next home?
So you’re thinking about selling your current home and you’re looking to trade up or downsize to a new home. What’s your next step? If you’re a next time buyer, check our Next Time Buyers’ guide and book a 30 Minute Meeting to discuss your mortgage options.
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