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When is the best time of year to sell your home?

If you're selling a property read our article breaking down the property market at the different times of the year. Click now to get important tips on how to sell a property in the different seasons and which ones to avoid, if you can, as well as how to maximise your selling potential.

According to one survey, 7 out of 10 people find buying or selling a home stressful, that’s second only to divorce for us in the UK. So we’ve taken a deep look into when the best time is to sell a property and how you can avoid some of the pit falls which make selling your home so difficult.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. Let’s look at the other times of year…

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Selling a house in summer

Holidays and children off of school mean that selling a house in summer can be tricky. People simply don’t like to think about spending money when so much is eating up their disposable income, not to mention being more pushed for time.

That said, there is no better time to view or have your house viewed. The sunshine and great weather means your garden will be in bloom, your rooms will be full of light and you can entertain visitors inside and outside.

Tips for selling your home in Summer:

  • Try to get in as early in the season as possible. Summer peaks in August, so early listings can mean you aren’t hit by the full market slump.

  • Set the summer scene – open up all your curtains and fill the place with as much light as possible. Set your stage with summer drinks on the patio and show the viewers a home that comes to life in summer.

  • Logic would tell you that if families are too busy to move in summer, households with no children may well fall through this net. You don’t have to be as concerned if yours is not a ‘family home’.

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Selling your home in autumn

There is a second sweet spot in Autumn for selling a property. After the holidays are over and life returns to normal, but before winter sets in and we start saving for Christmas. From September until Halloween you still have reasonable light and weather for good viewing and the market does pick up during this time.

Tips for selling your home in Autumn:

  • Keep your garden tidy. Autumn brings leaves and as the summer flowers die off, the more hardy weeds become prevalent.

  • Markets tend to quieten down as November rolls on, so if you are leaving it this late consider waiting until next year - if you can.

  • Take your pictures in the summer either way. Don’t leave it until the sunshine fades.

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Selling your home in winter

residential street in the winter time

Rightmove had 1 million visits to their website on Christmas day 2015, with millions more in the following days and before New Year. And while it’s generally understood that spring is the optimal time to shift a property, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to sell. In fact, while there may be less buyers, there is also less properties too.

Tips for selling your home in winter:

  • Get regional advice for selling agents about historical trends in your area. Patterns can differ by location and sometimes winter can be a viable selling period.

  • Make sure your house is warm and cosy for a viewing. Turn the heating up a couple of degrees and light the fire if you have one. Make sure you offer your guests a warm drink, or even a mulled wine if you’re really trying to set the tone for a potential new owner.

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Should I stick to peak selling times?

All in all, selling a house needs a considered approach. Getting the best prices can mean a difference of thousands of pounds so it’s always worth taking your time and making the best decision. If you know in advance that you want to sell, you are in the best position. Firstly, get some professional advice. Speak with some local estate agents to find out what’s best for your property and how the local market has traditionally behaved.

If, however, you don’t have the luxury of waiting or preparing it’s not the end of the world. The most important thing to remember is that houses can become stale if left on the market for too long. People looking will have seen your property multiple times, estate agents will be looking more towards newer properties in order to have fresh homes to offer viewers and generally, the buzz around your property will reduce.

Ideally you want to be selling a property within 2 months at most to avoid this. This is the most important time to be consulting a professional, because in cases where the property has been on sale of some time, you may want to consider lowering the price or taking an offer. This is because you could potentially lose even more by waiting beyond the ‘Goldie Locks’ period. But don’t forget selling at auctions too, they can be a great way to sell your property quickly, and in some cases sales can be done within four weeks.

Tips for selling a house out of season:

  • Use more than one estate agent. Multiple agencies can increase the reach and get you in front of more buyers. You will end up paying a higher fee though, or you can arrange for a Joint Sole Agreement.

  • Consider spending some money to spruce up the home to help achieve a quicker sale. A professional will be able to advise you on whether this could achieve a return on the investment, but even without spending a penny there are many things you can do for free.

  • If you move home before you’ve sold the property, check with your insurer as to whether you need unoccupied home insurance. Most policies will not cover you should the property be empty for more than 30 days.

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About the author

Alison Wild Bcom Hons MAAT MATT Taxation Technician Commercial Tax Pensions Insurance And Marketing Specialist AuthorAlison Wild BCom (Hons), MAAT, ATT, Taxation Technician is a highly respected industry professional who has been working with and advising SMEs in areas including tax, pensions, insurance and marketing for over 25 years. She is a member of the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) and Association of Tax Technicians (AAT) and also has considerable experience as a residential landlord.