When is the best time to sell a house? Is it a good time now?
October 12, 2020 | Michael Whittaker
Given the current climate, you might be forgiven for asking whether it is a good time to sell your house, or when you should consider putting your property on the market.
There are many factors to consider when deciding on the best time to sell your home. These include the best time of year or month to sell, whether it is a good time for you to move, and where you might move to next. Taking all of these in to consideration should help you decide the best time to sell. This may be different for everyone.
Seasonality – When is the best time of year to sell a house
Whilst certain times of the year can attract more buyers, the same can also be true for the number of properties on the market. More buyers often start their search in January and September as traditionally this is believed to be the best time of year to sell a house. However, a lot more sellers also consider going on the market at these times. This often leads to a higher level of properties on the market at these times, creating more competition for your home.
Summer is also known as a quieter time towards the upper end of the market and for family homes, as many buyers are away on holiday. However, it can depend on what kind
of property you are selling. 1 or 2 bedroom flats usually see a little drop in interest during the summer months, for example, as the typical buyer is not affected by the Summer holiday period.
My opinion has always been that when you have seriously considered your options and have decided to move, there is no time like the present. There is no guarantee that the market for your property will be any better in the near future (after summer for example)as of course any overriding economical or market conditions will affect the market more than seasonality.
Of course, many sellers consider that the best time to sell a house is in a strong market and tend to sit tight in a bad one. If you are selling an investment property and not buying anything else then this is definitely the best time to put your house on the market.
However, if you are upsizing to a new home then you can actually be better off in a weaker (or at least a flat) market. As long as you have built up sufficient equity in your home then the ability to sell lower and buy lower can be financially beneficial. You will pay less stamp duty and additional costs, and more highly-priced properties can be affected more in slower markets.
For example, if the market has fallen around 5% in general terms, the drop in price at a value of £750k is £37.5k. Compare this to a drop of just £13.5k at a selling price of £450k. This can also affect the loan to value of your new mortgage – offering the potential of a better rate and therefore saving you money.
Finding your next home will probably be easier in a quieter market as there will be more available properties to view. Your position as a seller who is under offer will also be more sought after when you aren’t in competition with lots of chain-free buyers, which usually happens in a better market.
What if I can’t afford what I want to buy? What is the current housing market like? Should I sell now or wait?
It can be frustrating if you don’t think you will be able to afford to buy the property you want. However, delaying things, for this reason, can often be the wrong move.
In general terms, the property market is always rising. There are obviously times within this where prices are falling or static, but in the long term, this would usually rectify itself. The property market has demonstrated this over many years. Therefore the risk of waiting longer to either save more deposit or for the value of your own home to rise is often negated by the following.
– Prices rise quicker than you can save the extra deposit
– The price of the property you want to buy increases by more than your own home, making it even more unaffordable.
This could mean that a slower market is the best time to sell your home. Of course, there are circumstances where this isn’t the case. If you have built up a lot of equity and you think the market is topping out or is about to fall then you could be in a better position if you wait. Equally, if you were to sell your home at the top of the market, then moved into a rental property and wait for the market to fall you could be significantly better off. If you would like to get a rough idea of your property’s value, you can do so using our online value calculator
Trying to sell at the top of the property market
This is very difficult indeed and most of the people that claim to have done this have just been lucky. If you attempt this and get it wrong, you could end up in a worse position than when you started. If you really do want to try to trade with the market – then good luck!
Some indicators that can be used to give an early indicator of a market turn are;
– Increasing or decreasing the level of newly agreed sales
– Sold prices increasing or decrease after a period of staying the same
– longer time on the market and greater need for price reductions
– Anecdotal feedback from Agents and other sellers
Remember that by the time a fall or rise in sold house prices is reported by the media they are usually using data from 3-6 months ago. This of course means that the market has already changed by the time you read about it in the media.
London Youth work to improve the lives of young people in London, challenging them to become the best they can, and last year helped over 27,000 young people through their sports development, youth action and involvement, arts and outdoor education programmes and employment prospects. We feel strongly that all young people should have an opportunity to develop themselves, and so are delighted to be able to support London Youth in their work, providing young people with access to opportunities they might not otherwise have had, to learn new skills, to make a positive change in their communities and to shape the city they live in.
Glass Door helps homeless men and women in London through their large network of emergency shelters and support services. These winter shelters provide a warm welcome, food, safety and shelter for up to 170 people every night. Properly feels passionately about the issue of homelessness. That is why we are delighted that together with our clients we can assist Glass Door in their fantastic work to help some of the most marginalised people in society.
Families become homeless for reasons we can all identify with. We are concerned about people who are struggling to keep things together in our fast-paced world – and we care about those who have no support. We chose the Doorstep Homeless Family Project because they are passionate and effective yet they are a small team with limited funding. They provide homeless families, living in temporary accommodation in London, with access to services to secure the emotional and practical support they require to enjoy a better quality of life.
We need nature and nature needs us. We support The London Wildlife Trust because we share its concern for the environment. We want to ensure that we keep nature in mind as we work in the property market – and crucially, with people’s homes. We also want our employees to engage with nature and benefit from the wellbeing this brings. London Wildlife Trust cares for over 37 of London’s spaces, and their vision is: “a London alive with nature, where everyone can experience and enjoy wildlife”.
I was so pleased to be introduced to Properly. Mariel and Michael provide an excellent service that took the stress and hassle out of finding a tenant. They were a pleasure to deal with, efficient and fast. A marked difference from the hidden costs and poor communication often encountered from other high street estate agents. I would thoroughly recommend and happily use again!
We did not feel rushed at all which was great as it really allowed us to really take the property in. We did put down an offer and Properly did a great job in securing a good outcome for both the sellers and ourselves.If you are looking for an agency that will do more than just open the door then look no further.
Mariel and Michael have been absolutely great, by far my best ever experience with an estate agent. Properly is honest, upfront and friendly, responding really quickly to any and all queries and with a lovely personal touch.
The service is outstanding. Mariel could not be more helpful and professional. Every individual I engaged with, was well informed and had the full history of conversations. First class service.
I was very impressed with the service I received. Communication throughout was very good. I have dealt with many agents, but the clear, concise and personable approach I received made Properly stand out. I wouldn’t hesitate to use them again.
We had the opportunity to interact with Michael of Properly in our search for a new rental flat. Michael was professional and courteous in our dealings with him. He was a pleasure to interact with and he frankly stood out amongst all the agents we interacted with over a search of several weeks.
Both Michael and Mariel were extremely helpful with our questions going forward whether it be regarding referencing or the property itself. Definitely not the usual estate agent experience (in a good way) and I would recommend Properly to anyone.
The level of customer service I received at Properly with Mariel and her team was frankly outstanding. It’s lovely when people genuinely care and go the extra mile which certainly they did. I couldn’t recommend them more highly, the most pleasurable property experience ever for me.