Who, what, why, how & when? Trying to figure out the best time of year to sell your home is no easy mission. There might seem like countless factors you need to consider before making that final decision and it can all just get a bit too much. Well I’m here to put your mind at ease, because despite the overwhelming variables involved in putting your home on the market, there are definitely some guidelines you can adhere to that are going to increase your chances of selling, selling quickly, and getting a great price in return.
What is the best time to sell?
Research shows that the absolute best time of year to put your home on the market is Spring. The main reasons for this being that buyers will generally spend their Winter months making all the administrative preparations such as saving big bucks and doing all the necessary home buying research. When Spring comes around they have everything in order and start looking to buy. Moving house in the fresh months of Spring also gives people an opportunity to settle in during a quieter time of the year and avoid the hectic holiday season.
The downside to selling in Spring however, is that everyone will be doing it. It is THE time of year to sell and the market knows this well. As a result, it can be difficult to make a lasting impression when you’re competing with so many other sellers, which can in turn diminish your chances of attracting enough attention to find the right buyer… Annoying right? It’s a bit of a Catch-22, so you definitely have to weigh up your options.
What is the next best time to sell?
Spring not your thing? Ok, so maybe you’ve decided that the risks are too great for you to sell during the most popular season of the year. How about the next best thing? Enter Autumn. During this time of year the market is not as over-saturated as it was during Spring, but it’s still pumping so you won’t have any trouble finding potential buyers. This way you should find it easier to stand out from the crowd as well. Although you might not be as blessed with an abundance of beautiful sunny days to show off your gorgeous digs, when Autumn rolls around you’ll get the best of both worlds though – buyers will be able to visualise themselves in the comfort of your home during the chilly months, but you’ll likely get lucky with some crisp sunny days as well.
What is the worst time to sell?
Ok, so we’ve covered the times of year you want to consider. Now let’s go over the absolute worst time of year to sell that you should try to avoid at all costs. You may have already guessed, but the award for the worst-time-to-sell-a-home goes to….. the Christmas holidays. It’s not really too difficult to understand why either. The end of the year is usually a time when people have a LOT on their minds. Family gatherings that no one wants to go to, end of year work events (that no one wants to go to), and that 5-week trip to Barcelona they’ve been saving for all year. This is the time of year to wrap up any unfinished business, and reluctantly spend any work bonuses on Christmas gifts and New Years celebrations.
So it makes sense that the last thing on people’s minds is buying a new home. You might be thinking that you could use the lack of competition to your advantage and that this could be the perfect time to shine. Unfortunately, for such a strategy to work, you also need people who are willing to buy. However, since the timing is off, this means there will not be many buyers around and the chances of selling are much smaller than in Spring or Autumn.
What about Winter?
Poor old Winter. Always gets a bad wrap. Do homes sell well in Winter? Well… not really. That might not be the surprise of the century but generally speaking people won’t be all that keen to go house hunting when they’re freezing their butts off outdoors. Aside from a lack of natural lighting, another downside to selling during the colder months is that the wet weather can reveal some serious flaws that you might not have even realised you had. Issues relating to mould and damp are far more common during the rainy season and can scare away even the most enthusiastic buyers. One of the reasons that you should always get a building inspection before you think of selling. This way you can address any issues far in advance and won’t be caught out with any reason to deter buyers when you’re trying to attract them.
Other factors worth considering
So if I’ve done my job right, by now you should have a fairly good idea about when to sell and when not to sell. You might still be wondering if there’s anything else you need to think about before putting your home on the market. Well, yes. The best thing you can do is stay on top of real estate news and keep yourself up to date with the current state of the market and where your area fits into this. What are the running trends? Where is the market expected to be in the next year or two? What are the median house prices in your neighbourhood?
I would highly recommend speaking to a number of real estate experts who can give you a good idea about the current housing climate and what your best options are likely to be for your specific situation. Selling your home is always a bit of a risk, but if you do your homework and stick to the guidelines you’ll undoubtedly be able to improve your chances of getting the best outcome possible.