To Sell or Not to Sell: When to Place Your House on the Market

A house is a special shrine that encloses an array of memories, feelings, and personal achievements. It may have witnessed the start of a new family, the arrival of a job offer you’ve always dreamt of, or tender moments with your loved ones. But at some stage, for whatever reason, the time may come for a change of scenery.

Selling your home can lead to a series of challenges. It is an important decision and, as with all life-changing choices, there are bound to be a few doubts and dilemmas. In this respect, one obvious question tends to emerge: when is the most appropriate time to put your property on the market? There is no right or wrong answer, and you should always ensure that you take this significant step when it best suits you and your needs.

This said, there are times during the year in which selling your house is wiser – or, alternatively, not very strategic. Here, with some insights from the estate agency team at Watermans we showcase some of the seasonal periods when putting your old home up for sale can make the process a smooth and simple one.

What’s the market saying now?

If you are looking to sell your property, you may want to consider acting promptly. As things stand, the housing market is the busiest it has been in a very long time – both for buyers and sellers. In fact, right now, homes are being bought at the fastest rate ever recorded.

In the first two weeks of April 2022, on average, properties advertised on Rightmove have been sold in the space of 45 days. What’s more, 23% of houses that had reached a sale deal in March were on the market for a week or less. Topping the leader board of fastest-selling places in Britain is Scotland, with homes being purchased on average within a 33-day timeframe. Hence, if you are hoping to get a property valuation in Edinburgh or elsewhere in Scotland, this would be an excellent time to make the move.

It is also worth noting that the number of home-hunters searching for new abodes is at sky-high levels. On 7th April alone, Rightmove registered an impressive 9.3m visits to their website. Likewise, in March, aspiring homeowners spent around two billion minutes browsing through Rightmove’s ads and catalogues.

So, if you are planning to place your old house on the market, this could be a favourable time to act. But if you are not ready yet, when should you contemplate putting your property for sale?

The best time of year to sell

There is no exact science to determine the perfect period to sell your home in a speedy fashion. In fact, there are many unpredictable factors that can play a significant role in influencing the housing market. This said, there are also figures that show that certain times of the year – on the whole – can be more favourable than others. Spring, for instance, is possibly the best season for sellers to list their property, and for homebuyers to hunt for new residences.

If you have to sell your house fast, it has been found that March is possibly the best month for you to launch your sale. In truth, any time between the end of February and mid-June is likely to boost your chances to sell your property in a swift manner.

But, on average, houses that have entered the market in March receive the final, decisive offer in 57 days. This is particularly appealing as, not only does it offer you the opportunity to sell your old home quickly, but you also have a better chance to make a higher profit. Place your property for sale in April or May and you can expect to agree on a deal within 60 to 62 days.

Why is springtime such an advantageous period for house-selling? One of the main reasons is that, aesthetically speaking, houses look way more attractive during this season. With an abundance of natural light and sprouting gardens, properties are bound to make a more positive impression on potential purchasers.

Challenging periods for sellers

While spring is the ideal time of the year to advertise your house for sale, the winter and colder months are less likely to arouse bids.

Generally, the period that goes from October to early January witnesses a dip in selling timeframes. One of the explanations for this negative ‘trend’ could be that, in the build-up to Christmas and January expenses, people are not financially ready to hunt for a new property.

August is also another month that may slow down operations for house sellers. How come? Families may be away for the summer school holidays, therefore postponing their search for a new home. Additionally, the hassle of relocating, combined with the incoming start of a new academic year, may not be an ideal match.  

Ultimately, you should always feel free to put your house up for sale when you are both ready and comfortable. But if you are confident that the right time has come to sell your property, you may want to consider placing your old home on the market during spring.

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