Is There a Magic Month to Sell Your Property?

Published: 16/01/2013 By Peter Barry

If you’re a developer with a newly refurbished property, or you’re a seller in a competitive market, it’s imperative that you choose the right agent to market your property and ensure it’s as viewer-friendly as possible. But it’s also important to pick the best time for your house to hit the marketplace. Clearing the clutter a month before you had planned to nail the ‘for sale’ sign to the fence, or holding off over a particularly quiet patch, could pay off in the long run and get you closer to your asking price.

Spring into action!

Obviously, it’s not always feasible to hang around for the time of year when potential buyers will be queuing up outside estate agents’ doors for any new house details to come off the printing press. But if you can time your move to coincide with traditionally busy periods, you’ll get more viewers through the front door and – hopefully – more offers worth considering.

Spring is prime selling season: the sun starts shining, houses and gardens look lighter, brighter and full of life, and everyone is generally in a more optimistic mood.

New Year, new home!

Most people use the Christmas break to catch up with family and friends, overdose on seasonal television and overdo the food and drink. However, eager house hunters put their festive free time to more productive use by keeping a keen eye on online house activity. There is a huge spike in online house searches between Christmas and New Year – a time when people traditionally have time off together, with nothing more planned than working through box sets and Christmas dinner leftovers.

If you’re a canny vendor, you would have been fully prepared before the festive break, with your house details uploaded and ready for the captive Christmas audience so that, come January, your diary will be full of viewings.

The internet has helped enable this flurry of activity in the marketplace, as people with time on their hands can now hone their search criteria and spend time considering properties and preparing a shortlist of houses they are genuinely interested in. Years ago, the market would have essentially shut up shop, as the festive tumbleweeds kicked in just before Christmas, and estate agents and buyers brushed off the cobwebs after New Year. Nowadays, this period is put to good use and the subsequent viewings will be all the more positive, as purchasers have had longer to consider the properties and do their research.

Schools out

Another notoriously tricky selling patch is the school summer holidays. Although deals can be done in August, a lot of people choose (or rather are forced through school dates) to take their main holiday during this time and thoughts of house buying are put firmly on the back burner. With kids running riot around the house, harassed parents have enough trouble juggling work and childcare, in between packing suitcases within budget airline weight restrictions. Property viewings are way down the list of priorities. If you can hold off over summer and get your house ready for sale once school is back, you should be able to capitalise on the backlog of summer viewings.

There’s no prescribed formula for the best time to market your property – and location, local demand and economic considerations will all have an impact. But, if you time it well, you can certainly maximise the number of viewings and give your property the best chance of selling success.

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