For anyone asking, when is the best time to sell a house? There are some good months to do so – but a lot depends on the property type.
Knowing when to put your house up for sale is a crucial part of getting the best possible price for it.
Traditionally, the best time for selling a home is in the spring.
And if you want to sell your property quickly, then statistically March is the best time to sell.
Other very good months for selling include April, May, and June.
If you are selling in February, July, September October and November, then these can be considered to be good months too.
However, selling a home in January, August and December are considered by property experts to be poor.
Putting your house on the market
There are a number of issues to consider before putting your house on the market, and if you want to sell quickly, then the time of year is important.
The months that are considered to be a good time to sell will have lots of potential buyers so it’s easier to find a buyer for your home – in theory!
Should you ask an estate agent when the best time of year to sell your house is, they will inevitably say that now is the best time – but that is because they want your business.
There’s no doubt too that house sales do fluctuate throughout the year, and the summer holidays will see a slump in buyers wanting to buy.
It is now a good time to sell?
We can even look at this issue seasonally over when is the best time to buy and sell a property in the UK.
It’s important to understand that when you are selling your home, it’s usually done at the time that is right for you, rather than you trying to exploit the market.
But there are peaks and troughs in the year and understanding how the property buying and selling cycle works, will help ensure that you make the most opportunity when you sell a property.
Selling a house in the New Year
While we highlight that the best time to sell a home is in the spring, you also need to appreciate that the property market picks up in the New Year.
That’s mainly down to lots of people wanting a fresh start after Christmas and will begin their search for a new home.
This New Year house-hunting activity will slowly grow into the Spring peak.
However, if someone shows interest in your property in the New Year, you need to understand that most of these people are very much early in their property search and it will take months for them to make a decision.
Selling a home in spring
Cashing in on the New Year’s enthusiasm for moving, spring is the most popular time in the UK for buying and selling homes.
What’s not to like? You could be in your new house by the summer and enjoy the hot days in your property.
One important time during this period is the Easter holidays which allows people to spend time viewing potential new properties, consider their likes and dislikes and then make a buying decision.
The other issue is that the days get longer and gardens spring back into life so your property will start to look better.
Selling a house in the summer
One of the issues for selling a house in the summer is that market activity tends to slow down.
That’s when lots of people take their summer holidays, there are also school holidays to accommodate and many of us enjoy longer sunny evenings at home with friends and family.
And since it will take several months for a sale to be completed, you will find that families will begin their search early in the year so they will be settled in a new home before the new school year starts.
Selling a house in the autumn
There’s some momentum from the summer months when it comes to selling a house in the autumn.
Indeed, activity continues very strongly until late October.
That’s because there is still a potential for people to move into a new home just in time for Christmas.
There are no summer holidays, and the children are back at school so those who are looking at properties are not quite so distracted.
Selling a house in the winter
It’s widely considered by property experts that to sell a house in the winter is a very poor time to do so.
Not surprisingly, buyers will tend to be preoccupied with their Christmas preparations, and the days have got shorter.
Your home will also not look as good in the winter light and while most home buyers are less motivated, you may find that there are those who want to snap up a bargain before Christmas.
Other considerations when selling a house
Let’s not forget that there are other considerations when selling a house.
Namely, you will need to start looking for a new property to move into when you put your own home up for sale.
This means that you will need to keep an eye on the property market so you can move quickly with your sale and the purchase of a new home.
This selling and buying process will involve having a conversation with an estate agent who will – hopefully – tell you which properties sell more quickly and how long your property will take to find a buyer.
It’s also worth considering some statistics from the property portal Rightmove which reveal the average number of days it takes to sell property. On average:
- It takes 57 days to sell a home in March;
- 79 days to sell a home in November.
Before moving on, it’s worth highlighting that this data also flags-up another interesting aspect of selling a house.
Basically, the less time your property is on sale, the more likelihood of you getting a better price is.
Understanding supply and demand when selling a house
Having discussed the most popular times of year to sell your property, you also need to understand supply and demand within the UK’s property sector.
Firstly, the supply of properties is not consistent through the year and many home sellers will opt to put their house on the market in Spring.
However, the supply of properties will fall depending on other circumstances including:
- How well the economy is doing – a recession will put people off from selling (and buying too);
- Other issues outside of anyone’s control such as a pandemic – we have seen a national lockdown in 2020 bring the UK’s housing market to a grinding halt.
So, in addition to understanding when the best time to sell a property is, you also need to understand whether the economy will carry on strongly while your house is on the market, or whether there will be an outside influence to badly affect the asking price. Or put off potential buyers from moving.
Selling different property types – when is the best time to sell?
So far, we have explained that when it comes to selling a property and getting the best price means you need to sell when most people are looking to move into a new home.
This means selling in Spring, particularly in March, but also in September.
However, the type of property you want to sell also means it will attract different types of buyers.
Selling a terraced house or a flat
If you are selling a terraced house, or a one- or two-bedroom flat, then you will need:
- Young couples wanting to buy;
- First-time buyers.
The best time to sell to attract your target buyer will be:
It is these buyers that tend to be the ones who are keen to begin hunting for a new home in the New Year.
They also tend to have a nudge for buying because they do not want to spend another Christmas in their current property.
Also, these buyers tend to return to the market after the summer holidays with a view to moving in before Christmas.
Selling family homes
Whether yours is a three- or four-bedroom family home, you’re looking at those buyers who are wanting to move up the housing ladder and will probably have children.
This last point means the best time to sell will be outside of any school holidays, including half terms, Easter and the summer holidays.
Essentially, any time that is not a school holiday is a good time to sell a three- or four-bedroom family home.
Selling retirement homes and bungalows
The buyers for retirement homes and bungalows tend to be those who are elderly and looking to downsize.
The best time to sell to these potential buyers is between June and September when the months are warmer.
This means that to tap a strong market, you will need to avoid putting your house on the market at the beginning of Spring and summer.
The UK’s house selling cycle
We mentioned earlier in this article that understanding how the house selling cycle works in the UK is also key to selling quickly.
Firstly, you need to understand that house prices will rise and fall during a year. They do this naturally.
Do not believe media reports that house prices are always going up, they do fall and fluctuate with demand.
This house selling cycle works similarly every year unless it is disrupted by things like a Covid pandemic, a recession or changes to the Government’s Stamp Duty Land Tax system to encourage buyers – as happened in 2020.
Other considerations when selling your house
Knowing when to sell your house will depend on various circumstances including whether you actually want to move.
Some people may decide to sell their house because they see the property market picking up and want to enjoy higher prices.
These are some of the other considerations when it comes to selling your house:
Supply and demand
If there’s little demand and lots of supply of houses to the market, you may need to rethink your selling price.
This could be a crucial part of selling your house quickly. Remember that, estate agents have different skills and knowledge of their part of the market.
Consider online estate agents: some of them offer a great service at a great price and can attract buyers quickly.
Rather than just believing that all house prices are increasing, you need to be aware that there are regional differences to consider too. You may find that house prices may even be falling in your town or city.
Among the other considerations is whether your local authority has approved, for example, a major construction project, including housing developments.
If so, then a potential buyer might believe that you are selling up to avoid major works taking place on your doorstep, and this will have an impact on the asking price.
Remember too, that you will need to be honest about whether any major works are planned to take place – and if not, then the buyer’s conveyancing solicitor will probably find out about them anyway.
When is the best time to sell my house?
Essentially, for those who want to know the answer to the question, ‘When is the best time to sell my house?’ – the answer is not straightforward.
Lots of myths have developed over when people should sell for the best price but a lot depends on the season, the country’s economic circumstances, your home’s condition, the type of property it is and where it is.
Even your neighbourhood may have an impact on how long it takes to sell your home.
There’s no doubt that Spring tends to be the optimum season when it comes to selling a home because your property is looking better, and potential buyers are feeling optimistic.
The bottom line is that there is no fixed day or month for selling a home – if someone wants to buy your property, then that was the best time to sell.