When is the best time to sell house?
by Housesimple on 5th May 2018
To sell your home for as much as possible, you want to list it at a time when demand among interested buyers is high, and property values are stable.
Traditionally, spring is the best time to sell your home, as this is when the market is most competitive.
In months like March and April, the weather has started to brighten up, which makes the prospect of looking for a new home much more bearable. People are also generally in a better position financially – the festive period is well-and-truly behind them, and if they’re lucky, they will have already received their annual bonus.
Plotting an ideal date for selling your house on a calendar is difficult. There all sorts of factors that impact house sales, from economic factors – like inflation or recession – to something as trivial as when Easter falls.
However, if you observe house sales over time, you can spot patterns that repeat year after year, which is very useful for anyone planning a house sale. Below, we’ll look at some of the metrics we can use to determine the best time to sell your home.
UK Property Transaction Statistics
The HMRC is an excellent resource for finding data on property sales in the UK, which is helpfully broken down by year as well as month.
Looking at house sales in 2017, there was a spike in March that tailed off around Easter. Transactions picked up again early in the summer, tailing off later in the season.
According to the UK government itself, “the number of property transactions in the UK is highly seasonal, with more activity in the summer months and less in the winter.”
The move online has been the biggest gamechanger for the property market in the past decade. We know that 95% of house-hunters now begin looking for property online – but what’s lesser known is when these searches are happening.
Looking at Google search data from the past five years, we can see that online searches in the UK for ‘houses for sale’ are at the highest between February and August. Each year, the number of people searching this term dramatically drops around October, with the decline carrying on until the end of the calendar year.
How to plan your sale
All this data suggests that the best time to sell your home is around March and April. Our recommendation is to wait until Spring is sprung, but to give yourself enough time to market your home before buyers start going on their summer holidays.
As we can see from the data above, the winter months – particularly January and February – can be a bit of a graveyard for house sales, so if you’re thinking of selling your house, you should spend the colder months sprucing it up your home before listing it online in spring.
In summary, here are some helpful tips for picking the best time to sell your house:
- Aim to sell your house between spring and summer: this is when potential buyers are most interested
- If you must list your home during winter, make sure your home is warm and cosy for viewers
- Viewings tend to happen on weekends, so if you are selling your home online, list it towards the end of the week
- Arrange viewings at a time when your home is illuminated by as much natural light as possible
- Try to arrange multiple viewings on the same day so you don’t have to spend too much time preparing your home or showing people around
To get things moving, you can book a free house valuation with HouseSimple.com at a time that suits you.
We will send one of our local assessors to take professional photos of your home and create a floor plan. We’ll then provide you with a valuation guide to help you set an accurate asking price.