If you’re thinking of selling your home, it makes sense to understand when is the best time to sell a house. Knowing the seasonal trends in the property market will allow you to take advantage of the busy periods, potentially allowing you to sell your house quicker and get more money for it.
Property experts have analysed sales data and, over the years, seasonal trends have emerged in how easy it is to sell a home.
While there are all sorts of myths around when is the best time to sell a house, each region and each property type is different, and when it comes to selling your house, it is often more about when is the best time for you.
If you do have the luxury of choosing when you sell your house, though, this guide will help you understand the market fluctuations and when is the best time to sell a house.
Spring (from February to June) is generally considered the best time to sell your house quickly. The second best time to sell your house fast is Autumn (mid-September to October).
July and August tend to be quieter months in the property market as many people go on holiday. Meanwhile, the run-up to Christmas (mid-November to December) is traditionally the worst time of year to sell a house quickly.
The risk of putting your house up for sale during quieter periods is that potential buyers might think there is something wrong with it if it’s been on the market for a long time. You’re also less likely to get a good price as buyers will think they can negotiate the price down.
However, you shouldn’t take this as gospel – there are numerous factors that affect when is the best time to sell a house, such as:
If you happen to ask your estate agent whether now is a good time to sell a house, they’re more than likely to say: “yes, now is a great time to sell your house.”
This response should be expected – estate agents want your business now, not later. However, a more trustworthy estate agent should give you advice tailored to the individual variations of your local market and your property type.
You should also take your personal situation into account and choose the best time that suits you.
Looking at analysis of Rightmove ‘time to sell’ data, March tends to be the best month to put your house on the market. The data showed that houses put on the market in March took the fewest number of days (57 days) to go under offer.
This is important to note because the less time your house is up for sale, the better the price you’re likely to get for it.
Based on Rightmove data, October and November are the worst months to put your house on the market. The data showed that houses put on the market during these months took, on average, 79 days to go under offer.
Supply and demand has a massive influence on when is the best time to sell a house. Almost everyone agrees that the best time to sell a house is when supply is low and demand is high. That’s because lots of buyers are actively looking to buy, while few competing sellers are looking to sell.
If there is a shortage of supply of properties for sale, prices are pushed up and houses tend to sell quicker. Whereas, if there is an excess supply, prices will fall and homes will remain on the market for a longer period of time. For example, prime residential London property is always relatively scarce and tends to both maintain its price and sell quickly.
Meanwhile, if demand is high, it means more potential buyers are actively looking to make a purchase. Therefore, sellers are likely to have more interest in their property, sell it quicker and for more money.
Property type is another factor that influences the best time to sell a house.
One and two bedroom apartments tend to sell quickest in January and February. This is because young professionals and couples seek to kick start their new year in a new home. This type of property also tends to sell quickly in September – maybe because buyers have returned from their summer holidays and are keen to move before Christmas.
Family homes don’t tend to sell as well during summer months. This is likely because families with school-aged children are restricted to taking their summer holidays in July and August, so house-hunting is put on hold during this period.
Property types that usually appeal more to the older market looking to downsize, such as bungalows, tend to sell quickest during the warmer months of June to September.
So, if you want to get the best price, in the shortest space of time, it’s best to put your house on the market when the demand for your type of property is highest.
When looking at which season is best for selling your house, Spring always comes out on top. This is probably because people aren’t away for summer holidays or busy with Christmas celebrations.
Another good thing about selling your house in Spring is that your home will look better when the garden is coming into bloom and the sun is (hopefully) shining.
Many people often assume that summer is the best time to sell a house, but this is not usually the case. If you’re trying to sell to families, you should remember that they’re going to be away or busy with children during the school holidays.
Autumn can be a good time to sell a house. If the weather’s mild, your home will still look good and there are no major holidays to contend with.
Winter is one of the worst times to sell a house, especially in the lead up to Christmas. If you’re not going to be ready to put your property on the market before December, it’s probably worth waiting until January when people are starting to think about the year ahead.
Easy – don’t sell.
Although we’ve been discussing the best time to sell a house, it’s much more important to choose a time that works for you. If you rush your home onto the market without being property prepared, you’re likely setting yourself up for a fall. And, if you do get a buyer, you want to be able to move as quickly as possible before they can pull out.
Before putting your property on the market, make sure you have your home looking its best. That doesn’t necessarily mean spending loads of money on huge renovation projects – just take some time fixing the little details, such as wonky tiles and shoddy paint jobs.
Ultimately, it’s important to remember that it only takes one buyer to successfully sell a house. In reality, there are people looking to buy new houses 365 days a year.
Just because the data suggests that certain times of the year are better to sell your house quickly, doesn’t mean it will be for you.
If you have to sell your house during a quieter month – don’t worry! Just recognise that you might be at a slight disadvantage and act accordingly: