Depending on how eager you are to sell, you’ll want to hear one of two answers here. That will be either ‘right now’ or, if you’re a little apprehensive about taking the plunge, ‘right at the end of the year’. After all, it can be an anxiety-ridden process of planning, waiting, maybe waiting some more, perhaps reconsidering the whole thing, then – bang! An offer, an agreement – and suddenly preparing to move.
However, since you’re already beginning to commit to that potentially gruelling process, here’s what you need to know about when to put up that ‘For Sale’ sign.
Spring sales aplenty
The best time to sell could be closer than you think (and sorry if you’re of the ‘end of the year’ persuasion). According to Readers Digest, spring is “generally considered the best time to sell a house, for a number of reasons”. Think about it. The weather is improving, gardens are blossoming, and even torrential showers end with a wonderfully fresh petrichor scent in the air.
Picture the scene: healthy garden, house drenched with rain but glistening from a ray of sunshine, maybe even a distant rainbow framing the new home you’ve planned to see. Although it may never quite be that idyllic in reality, the point is that during spring, everything around us feels new, exciting, and thriving with opportunity.
Subsequently, we, as people, generally feel better. Suddenly more open to change, or something new, the first few properties we take a look at naturally feel more enticing than they would have only several weeks before.
However… is your home ready to sell so soon?
One of the biggest problems homeowners encounter when selling is the fact that they have already lived in the home. Let’s face it, we make our homes ‘homely’, don’t we? Whatever our particular tastes, we surround ourselves with décor, furniture and accessories that we either love or were fond of at a certain time.
That dreamy first impression of a home, painted above, is what you need to create for your sale. This means seeing past what you already look at as lovely, every day, and trying to create that perfect balance between a blank canvas and a ready-to-live-in space.
Taylor Wimpey believes that the perfect first impression “isn’t when a potential buyer walks through the door.” In fact, it’s way before this – occurring when a potential buyer looks at photographs of your house, usually online. Get these photos right by decluttering your interior and checking the exterior of your house for damaged roof files, brickwork, or areas where a lick of paint could make all the difference.
Know the local property market
The Homeowners Alliance is one of many property expert groups believing that spring always trumps the other seasons for house sales. Autumn comes second, while summer and winter – especially before Christmas – are the most problematic. However, the Alliance does recommend familiarising yourself with the local property market before putting your home up for sale.
While the seasonal sales trends are generally consistent across various places, there are local niches for which you can look out. For instance, as Nationwide highlights, in January and February, houses typically cost 8.45% less than in June and August, which means more people buy in areas where prices are lower. In contrast, in the North East of England, 60% more properties are sold in June than January, in a market where housing prices don’t fluctuate so much, month-by-month.
So, if you’re looking to sell your home in the North East this year, you’ve got a little more time to get it prepared. Make the inside of your home showroom quality – and, if you find any exterior damage on the roof the property, enquire about roof repairs in Newcastle and get the whole of your home ready to sell.
Ready or not?
Essentially, the best time to sell your home is when you want to. No matter how much time you spend studying the property market, if you simply want to move as soon as possible, don’t hang around and wait for the ‘perfect’ time. Selling a home is always daunting, it’s rarely a quick, sure-fire process, and it might take you longer than you hope for, for a variety of reasons.
On the other hand, if you’re not ready, you’re not ready. You don’t want to fork out a fee to put your house on the market, only to find that the ‘homely’ feel you’ve worked at for the past few years is too cosy to simply paint over and abandon.
Perhaps, however, you’ve already found a new home into which you’re desperate to move. If this is the case, do whatever you can to make it happen, even if it means giving up something you already love. Bear in mind that, if this means selling your home during a ‘lull’ in the market, people might later wonder why it has been on the market for so long.
However, if you’re prepared to go through this and similar frustrations and uncertainties, we both know that now is the right time for you to sell.