When is the best time of year to sell my home?

Finding a buyer and getting the best price can depend on when you market your home. What factors should you consider when deciding when to sell?

House for sale sign

Is now the right time to sell?

When selling your home, there are various steps you can take to make your home as desirable as possible for potential buyers. Decluttering, decorating and tidying up the garden will help show your home n the best possible light - regardless of when you go on the market.

The time of year you sell your home can have a significant impact on the selling price and the average of time between putting a property on the market and accepting an offer.

You want your property to be newly listed at the right time, as the first weeks of marketing are when the most interest from buyers will flood in. Note that newly listed properties are listed at the top of the property portal search results.

The following sections look at how each season can affect property sales but should be read in conjunction with the 2021 COVID-Update:

Selling a home in the Spring

Just the word ‘spring’ conjures images of fresh starts and new ventures. Spring is generally considered to be the best time to sell, especially from March to June.

Spring weather is better, helping your home and its garden look their brightest. Warmer days encourage buyers to come out of hibernation and start viewing properties.

If you’re looking to attract young families, you should avoid putting your home on the market over Easter. Parents will be more concerned with hunting for Easter eggs than for a new home.

Another thing to consider is that other sellers will have identified Spring as a good time to sell, so there will be greater competition.

Selling a home in the Summer

The weather may be at its best but people are away and anyone with children is preoccupied. Seller's entering the market in the Summer are competing against those whose properties didn’t sell in the spring. Pries may have been reduced on sold properties ready for the summer slump.

There is a pronounced reduction in average selling prices agreed in August. The data shows that sellers routinely accept lower asking prices when most people are on holiday.

Selling a home in the Autumn

Autumn presents a bit of a mixed bag. September can reinvigorate the market after the distractions of the Summer. However, buyers will not want to move over Christmas, so the Autumn window of interest is narrow.

October is generally a good month to sell. To take advantage, you should wait to list your property in September so buyers don't perceive the property as 'sticking'.

Selling a home in the Winter

November to January time usually work in the buyer's favour.

Property portals, such as Rightmove and Zoopla, report a significant reduction in activity over the Christmas period.

January is also a ‘new start’ month where people look to the future, bringing buyers out of the woodwork.

February is probably a safer bet than January to get selling, however, allowing time for the Christmas and New Year party season to abate and buyers to regain their focus.

Which is the best month to sell my home?

Month Good or bad time to sell? Comment
January Average Buyers looking forwards to a new start post-Christmas.
February Good Arguably a better month than January as people have returned from holidays and have got back into work.
March Average Early signs of Spring stimulate buyer activity, however, the Easter school holidays may start in late March meaning family buyers are preoccupied.
April Good As with March, Spring has a positive effect but the Easter holidays could dampen demand in the first week of April.
May Good Warmer weather continues to drive market activity. Gardens now in full bloom help show properties in their best light.
June Good Entering Summer, warmer weather helps stimulate buyer interest. Warmer weather also stimulates the retirement [pproperty market with the Simmer being the best time to sell a bungalow.
July Good July may be the peak month to sell but the school holidays and holidays generally can distract buyers.
August Bad The majority of people are on holiday and market activity slows considerably.
September Average The warm weather might continue into September and properties still show well in this month.
October Good Interest peaks again as summer holidays are forgotten but Christmas preparations have not begun.
November Average Buyers are now looking towards Christmas and are likely to delay their property search until the new year.
December Bad People are now fully consumed by Christmas preparations and the market is typically at its lowest level of activity.

When is the best day to list my home?

Active property buyers will check for new listings on a daily basis. Listing your property on a day that is most likely to get the most attention can help build a sense of competition between buyers.

There is no conclusive data to show that any particular day is better than any other. It is generally recommended that you don't enter the market on a bank holiday or major sporting event, however.

Mondays are generally, perhaps anecdotally, regarded as the best day to list a home, There are some data to suggest that the average time between listing and completion is at its shortest for properties first advertised on a Monday.

2021 Update - COVID - 19 and the property market

Since the Stamp Duty holiday was announced in July 2020, the UK property market has boomed. At the same time, other factors such as the 'Boris (re) bounce', successive lockdowns, economic stimulus, the exodus from cities to the suburbs and more rural locations and mortgage guarantee schemes have led to a seller's market that has defied normal seasonal variation.

Summary

Sellers really can influence the potential saleability of their homes by selling at the right time of year. The type of property you’re selling can also have an impact, depending on how critical the school holidays are to your potential buyers.

The longer a property is on the market, the greater the likelihood of potential buyers assuming it is overvalued.

Choosing when to put your property market can have a dramatic impact on both the time it takes to sell and the amount that you ultimately sell it for.

See also:

My home has been on the market for a while - what can I do?

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Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

Author:
Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher