If you’re selling, there’s plenty to consider, including when to go to market. The popular view is that spring is the best time to sell, but is it the season for getting more interest and a better price?
Spoiler alert. The short answer is no. But not by much.
There are plenty of reasons it could be time to sell. After all, warmer weather has arrived, gardens are starting to bloom and more people – including potential buyers keen for a change of scenery – are out and about.
“If you can take advantage of the increased number of autumnal house hunters, you’ll be able to capture competition and considerably drive up bids.”
However, research shows that autumn is the time most purchases are made. More than a quarter of all property sales over the last 30 years took place in March, April and May – with March the clear winner.
What makes autumn the time to sell?
Just like spring, autumn benefits from pleasant weather that makes visiting open homes seem like a good way for many to spend their Saturday. As a result, you’re likely to get more potential buyers through the door.
The natural beauty of the season plays a part, too. If you live on a tree-lined street, having orange-hued leaves welcome potential buyers can get them in the right mood.
Thanks to New Year’s resolutions, the start of the year sees a huge number of people ready to finally make a big move and enter the market. By the time they’ve done their preparation, autumn has arrived.
If you can take advantage of the increased number of autumnal house hunters, you’ll be able to capture competition and potentially drive up bids.
Remember, putting your place on sale in the most popular season doesn’t come without risk. Your place could get lost in an overcrowded market. Presentation, pricing and negotiation strategies are also crucial. And, as always, a little expert advice can go a long way.
The next best thing? Selling in spring
If you’ve been planning to sell when the weather starts getting warm, don’t let autumn’s popularity put you off. Over the past 30 years, 26% of homes have sold in September, October and November, meaning spring runs a close second as the best season for sales.
This could be explained by the fact that spring is the season for new life and new starts. Gardens tend to look their best in spring, with flowers coming into bloom and trees returning to leafy green.
Days are getting longer, too. This means more hours to open house, and a greater chance the right person will walk through the front door and fall in love with the place.
So, what about winter?
Despite colder weather and more time spent indoors, 25% of annual property transactions still take place in winter, so it’s just a slightly less favourable time to sell.
Each seller’s situation is as unique as their home. Even though fewer people might be willing to brave the cold on their house hunts, winter could end up being the best time for you.
For example, perhaps the orientation of your home means winter sun creates an inviting glow in the lounge. Or, if you have a feature fireplace that impresses guests, showing it to prospective buyers in full flame could be what wins them over.
In summer, sales slow down
The hottest time of the year sees a significant cool-off in sales. Just 22% of the year’s transactions come during the summer, with January the least popular month of all.
Why? The busy Christmas season leaves little time for house hunting, thanks to packed social calendars, event planning, school holidays and relatives in town. With fewer people looking for their dream home, you’re less likely to find a dream buyer.
But there are always exceptions. It could be that your property’s winning features are best shown off when it’s hot. A beautiful balcony perfectly primed for warm summer evenings. That very inviting outdoor pool. Your enviable proximity to the beach.
Those who live for the sun are more likely to be convinced your property can give them the lifestyle they have always wanted if they can see it, rather than having to imagine it on a cold autumn day when they’re dressed in puffer jackets.
There’s always a season that suits
The data has spoken. The best bet for getting a good deal is to sell your home in autumn with spring a good second choice.
If you do decide on the less popular periods of winter and summer, just make sure your home is styled and presented in season – think candles and blankets in the winter, plants and flowers in the summer. They’re the kind of details that can make all the difference.