When is the best time to sell my house?

Homeowners thinking about moving but unsure of exactly when to begin the process, often ask us; ‘When is the best time sell my house?

With external factors leaving many wondering if they should sell in the coming months or wait for a later date to achieve a greater result, it’s useful to explore market trends and other factors that might have an impact on a property sale. 

Traditionally there are certain times of the year when the property market is generally more active despite any economic or political headwinds. 

In this blog, we take a closer look at the best time to sell a property, how to achieve a quick sale and the reasons why a property might stay on the market for an extended period. 

What time of year is best to sell property?

Many industry reports have shown that selling a house in spring and selling a house in autumn are typically the two periods of the year where activity in the property market is heightened and a prime time to sell.

This increase in activity is often a result of periods of pause and reflection during a break from work and their usual day-to-day, which for most people take place through July and August and again over December and January – if you already live in West London, you’ll know that the capital becomes noticeably less populated, with considerably less traffic on the roads when schools are off.

Sellers are seldom likely to put their homes up for sale in the run up to Christmas when they’re seeing friends and family and might have decorations up, and to the same end, families moving home rarely choose to do this whilst the children are off school for the summer holidays. With most buyers also having their focus at these times moved away from house hunting, they are less active during December and August. 

During these periods, should a seller be intending to sell soon but keen to avoid potential disruption of fully marketing immediately, they might instead choose to make their property available off market via their estate agent, inviting only serious parties to view, who will have been confirmed to be serious buyers. 

How long do most homes stay on the market? 

Since April 2022 it has taken between 31 and 32 days to find a buyer across the UK. Comparatively, over the same period last year on average, it would take between 36 and 38 days

The national average over the past 5 years hovers at around 59 days taken to find a buyer, indicating that in 2022 we continue to be in a relatively fast-paced sales market. 

When is the best time to sell my house

Why would a house be on the market for a long time? 

In a market where sales are being agreed fairly quickly, it’s understandable to question why a house would be available on the market for a long time? There are a number of reasons but some of the most common include:

  • Return to the market – from a collapsed chain meaning a buyer’s related sale has fallen through to a change in circumstances meaning they cannot proceed to buying, there are a variety of reasons why a buyer might not be able to proceed and pulls out of a purchase meaning a property returns to the market. In some instances, this return to the market can mean that the property has been advertised for sale for an extended period.
  • Overpriced – The most common reason for properties to remain on the market for a long period of time is that they were originally put on the market for an inflated price. Whilst an estate agent will always work hard to achieve the best result for their client the seller, when an initial price tag is too high it might mean it is not viewed by potential buyers who believe it to be overpriced. It might be the case that the seller would accept a lower figure. However, buyers are often still put off if the listed price is above a realistic market value – pricing and strategy are incredibly important when selling your property, whatever the time of year. 
  • Conditioned sale – Some sales have conditions that mean the property will only appeal to a limited number of buyers. It might be that the property is being sold with a tenant in place who will stay so only an investor could buy the property, to other houses that are currently unliveable and need considerable renovation – not everyone is in a position to take on a renovation project. 
Best time to sell

How can I sell my property quickly?

It might be that you’ve found another property you would like to buy and need to sell your property quickly to ensure you don’t lose out. If this is the case, there are several steps to consider to find a buyer swiftly:

  • Price – Rightmove previously found that overpriced properties took an extra 26 days, on average, to find a buyer. That’s not to say you need to sell your property cheaply – more to highlight the importance of getting the price right from the outset. 
  • Timing – if your property is listed for sale the day before most businesses close for a succession of bank holidays such as Easter or Christmas, then you might find it takes a little longer to find a buyer. 
  • Strategy – Unique to every property and the motivation for selling, together with market conditions – the strategy for selling is fundamental. 
  • Stage your home – It’s widely accepted that if you’re selling your property, it’s a good idea to invest in necessary repairs, boost curb appeal and give your home a thorough clean and declutter; to speed up the process of selling, in certain circumstances staging your home can help.

Buying and selling at the same time

For those buying and selling at the same time, it can feel like a chicken and egg situation trying to figure out whether you should list your current home for sale first or begin to look for a property to buy first. 

In a fast-moving market especially, it is not just the offer figure that is considered by a seller and their agent, it is a buyer’s position and timeframes. Meaning to be in the strongest position as a buyer it would be ideal to have your home under offer or at a minimum on the market.   

The process of selling and buying at the same time can be made smoother with the assistance and guidance of an experienced agent. 

Selling property in West London

If you’re considering selling your home in West London and would like to discuss this further, a member of our team would be delighted to explore this further with you – get in touch