When is the Best Time to Sell your House?

04 March 2016

The UK property market has peaks and troughs in activity throughout the year and if you've decided that you want to sell your house you may want to know when the best time to sell is?

Many people think that the spring time is the best time to put your house on the market, but is this really true and are there any drawbacks to following the crowd and putting your house on the market in the spring?

Firstly, as a property seller, you may find that having people coming to view your property in the spring a better bet than all the wet and (possibly) muddy footprints that could be on your hallway carpet. However, with the unseasonable British weather we get these days, this may not be a consideration.

In addition, spring is a good time for the garden to look pretty, with daffodils and other spring flower providing an extra burst of colour and interest. Spring sunshine can make any dark rooms in your house seem a little brighter and generally positivity starts to creep into to everyone's psyche at this time of year.

Another positive for selling in the spring time is that most people are at home during this season, unlike the summertime when you may decide to go on holiday and if you have children, it can be difficult to try to juggle at least six weeks of childcare duties alongside selling your house and viewing other properties too.

As a property buyer, you may have less choice of potential houses to buy in the summer months as people want to enjoy their summer holiday and de-stress, rather than add to the pressure with a house move on the cards and will put off selling until the autumn.

So spring is looking like a great time of year to sell your home and show it in the best light but what about some of the downsides of selling in the spring and are there any other seasons that would work instead?

One downside of selling in the spring is the amount of competition you will have. Chances are if you are selling your property at the most popular time of year there will be many more houses like yours, in a similar location and with potentially better features than yours. This could result in any potential buyers trying to negotiate you down on price or buyers choosing other properties over yours.

You should ensure that if you want to sell in the spring that you carry out some good quality research on property websites like Zoopla so you can be sure of the value of your home, rather than just relying on the valuation your estate agent provides as these can sometimes be over-ambitious and could put people off viewing your home if there are lots of similar properties on the market at a lower price.

Remember the Stamp Duty Land Tax threshold too and if you can, depending on where your property is located, if you can keep within the lower band, i.e. under £250,000, this will probably work in your favour. A 2% tax will be much easier for your buyer to accept that 5%, particularly if the price is only just over the threshold.

Autumn is probably the next best time of year to sell a house as many people are around at this time of year due to the start of the new school year. Your property will not benefit from the darker evenings and poorer weather but you will have a good excuse for the garden looking a bit drab and you won't have to stay on top of cutting the grass.

Winter is often considered the worst time of year to try to sell. Most people are focused on Christmas time and do not want the added hassle of selling and buying at an already very busy time, nor do they want the additional expense at this time of year. This may mean that if your property is on the market in the wintertime that it will take longer to sell, which could be seen as a negative to potential buyers they may wonder what is wrong with it.

You will have to weigh up the pros and cons of selling your home at a particular time of year and even though you can consider the best times for others, you also need to factor in your needs and requirements.

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