When is the best time of year to sell a house?
Tue 15 Feb 2022
The property market tends to follow the same trends year on year, so if you have the right knowledge you can work out when might be the best time of year to sell and play the property market to your advantage.
However, life can throw up all sorts of surprises and unexpected turns (the pandemic being one of them!) so sometimes you just have to sell regardless of what time of year it is. Moginie James will always be happy to advise you and help achieve the quickest sale no matter what season we’re in.
Nevertheless, if you’re keen to know the official best time of year to sell a house, read on…
Why spring is the best time to sell a home
Spring is by far the most popular time to sell a home in the UK! New data from property website Rightmove (February 2022) reveals that March is the strongest month of the year for prospective sellers to come to market.
March has had the highest number of buyer enquiries per property for sale on average over the last five years (excluding 2020 when the property market shut down). April is the next strongest month to sell, based on competition between buyers for each available property, followed by May.
Spring is the best time to sell as the weather tends to be improving after a grey and cold winter. Natural sunlight helps homes to look their best. Trees have begun to get their leaves again, and flowers and plants are in bloom adding to curb appeal and the desirability of any outdoor space your property may have.
With warmer weather hopefully on its way, according to Rightmove buyer searches for gardens jumped 70% last month compared to January two years ago, as more people look for outdoor space.
Following spring in second place is autumn. This follows after people have returned from their summer holidays, but before they have started planning for Christmas. At the beginning of autumn, there is still the possibility of completing and moving into a new home before Christmas too. The average number of days it took to sell a home in 2020 was 64 days (Source: RICS Housing Market Survey and Rightmove).
Is there a worst time of year to sell a home?
A season that is a favourite for many, summer isn’t necessarily best for home selling. Sales tend to temporarily drop in August due to the summer holidays when people go abroad and children are off school so parents have other priorities.
Interestingly during 2020 we carried out the most sales valuations in July, as due to the pandemic no one could go on holiday and people were realising the need for outside space and wanting to move! However now that the option to go on foreign holidays is getting back to normal, we anticipate that spring will resume its crown as the most popular time to sell.
Last but not least, we have winter. As the colder weather sets in, people are more focused on Christmas and therefore tend to decide to wait until the New Year before thinking of buying/selling. Presenting your home in the best light during viewings can be harder in the winter months – particularly outside areas when flowers aren’t in bloom and general curb appeal is much harder to keep on top of if it’s snowing, windy or raining. However although December tends to be the slowest month for house sales, by January this begins to pick up quickly again.
The right time to sell to potential buyers
It’s worth noting that if you know what sort of buyer your property is likely to attract, you can strategically get it ready to sell at a time they’re most likely to be looking (which may not always follow these general trends!)
For example, one and two bedroom flats are popular for first time buyers and young couples who are stepping foot onto the property ladder. They will often be inspired by the New Year and feel motivated to make the next step in their lives, so they’ll start researching in January and look to book viewings from February.
Meanwhile the accessibility of bungalows means those in later life who are close to retirement often favour them. Some older people will want to avoid going to viewings in the cold and dark, so will wait until the days are warmer and lighter for longer. This type of buyer also won’t be as dictated by a schedule like school holidays, so selling a bungalow in summer may work in your favour.
The fact of the matter is that people will always be buying and selling property no matter what time of year it is! However trends have shown that spring is the most popular to sell, so if you’re looking for a quick and efficient sale, this could be your best bet in terms of timing.
If you’re looking to sell your property, Moginie James offers a free, no obligation valuation so you can find how much your property is worth.