Is There a 'Best Time' to Sell a House?

One of the most common questions we get from property owners is: "When should I sell?" While the answer to this is not as simple as it might appear at first, there are some general guidelines that it makes sense to keep in mind.

If you are struggling to decide when to sell your property, here is what you should consider:

Seasonal shifts

The best time of year for selling a property has always been the spring. The winter holidays are behind us, and summer travels still have not yet begun. So people set about taking care of practical matters – like where to live.

It is also a time when your property is likely to look its best, with the sun out and the garden beginning to bloom. This means faster sales, and maybe even higher asking prices.

The looking-good factor also holds true for the summer months, but since a lot of people head off on holiday in June, July and August, the market can be a bit less robust.

Things pick up a bit, however, when the autumn comes around. Everyone's back at work, which means they may once again turn their attention to big life projects. However, keep in mind that the market tends to cool along with the weather at the end of October. So you will want to make sure you have everything ready at the very beginning of autumn.

Winter tends to be the most challenging time to sell a property, especially before the holidays. So if it's in the lead-up to Christmas when you decide you are going to put your property on the market, think about waiting at least until the New Year.

These seasonal differences tend to hold true more or less across the UK. However, there can be local variations, so it's always a good idea to check out the data for your local market before taking any big steps.

Market shifts

Far trickier than the time of year is getting the timing right with regard to the housing market. There are of course constant rumours about whether the market is going up or down, but even when they come from experts, they cannot be trusted 100%. So it's always best to consider other factors, rather than trying to make guesses about how the market may or may not change.

Personal shifts

In light of the fact that it is pretty hard to decide when exactly is the right moment with regard to the market, you should choose the moment that is right for you. In other words, when the needs of your family or business change, that is when you should sell your property (keeping in mind of course the seasonal shifts discussed above).

Take a good long look at your finances and your lifestyle, and decide whether a move really makes sense right now. And if it's not the right time, the answer is simple – just don’t sell. Even if the market is on the up, and it's the height of spring!

Deciding to Sell a Tenanted Property

One thing we would advise against is trying to sell a property while it is tenanted, especially if you think you're just wanting to test the waters. Your tenant will almost always get spooked and decided to rent somewhere else potentially leaving youth an empty property. If you want to sell your rented property, be prepared not to receive any income if the tenant decides to leave, and make sure your property is well presented for viewings. An untidy property will almost certainly turn people away, even more so when questions over vacant possession are raised.