The time of year you put your house on the market needs to be considered carefully because selling a property is a two-way process (it’s surprising how often that is forgotten!). You may be ready to sell up and move on as quickly as possible, but your house will typically only attract a certain type of buyer; so to achieve the best possible sale for you, you need to consider when your type of buyer will be in the market for a new home.
If you know who you’re most likely to sell your house to, it allows you to plan. Think back to when you bought; when was it and what situation were you in? That’ll give you a lot of clues as to who is going to be interested in moving in after you and how quickly you’re likely to achieve a sale.
First-time buyers typically start the search for their first home early in the year; probably with a “new year, new me” mantra in their heads. They’ve decided they’ve spent one too many Christmases at home with the family and need to fly the nest. Their search – typically geared towards properties at the lower-end of the market like flats, apartments and terraced houses – begins in January and February, which supports the second and third-time buyer markets for semi-detached and detached homes. First-time buyers don’t usually rush into a purchase and tend to take their time assessing what’s out there, so be patient with them because getting that first foot on the ladder is a important, life-changing move.
Families only tend to buy during school term times, which is autumn, spring and early summer. They have better things to do when the kids aren’t in school, like going on holidays and/or spending quality time with their children, so they prefer to wait until they’re back in school and are able view houses in peace. Let’s face it, who wants to view a house with a bored, whiny child in tow?!
The older generation usually look to buy during the warmer months, meaning bungalows and retirement homes often stay stuck on the market during the cold, winter period. Older people avoid venturing out in all winds and weathers – and they definitely don’t want to move house in it. For them, the summer is an ideal time to buy, and they tend to view fewer properties than any other type of buyer before committing to one.
Finally, remember the less time your home is on the market, the closer to your asking price you’re statistically likely to get, so be sure to do your research before putting your home on the market. Your estate agent may well be doing their best to persuade you to get that all-important ‘For Sale’ board erected outside, but if it’s not the right time, it’s not the right time.