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Friday, 28 February 2020
Agent Resource Center
Agent Resource Center

Is There A Best Or Worst Time Of Year To Sell?

Written by Posted On Wednesday, 22 January 2020 23:07

There are almost too many variable factors involved in selling a property to count. Have you got the price right? Is it worth investing in modernizing some of the facilities before you put it in the market? Is your asking price realistic? Are there any potential legal issues or restrictions on the property that might pose a difficulty to potential buyers? Oh, and are you trying to sell it at the wrong time of year? 

The last of those questions sounds ridiculous. With the exception of Christmas - when almost the whole realty and financial industry grinds to a halt - the buying and selling of property goes on all year, every year. People buy because they need to buy, and they sell because they want to sell. There doesn’t seem to be any reason why one time of year would be any more or less advantageous than another when it comes to finding a buyer, and yet some statistics seem to indicate that the time of year has an impact on the prospect of a satisfactory sale. 

In covering this information, we don't intend to give the impression that you can guarantee the sale of a house just by picking the date you put it onto the market intelligently. If you've worked in or around the realty market for a while, you'll know that the industry is about as predictable as the next spin on an online slots game. It also happens to be as lucrative as hitting the jackpot on mobile slots - which is why we all choose to stay involved in it - but trying to predict the market has made fools of better people than us, and so we're not going to get involved in that. Just as some people seem to be able to feel when an online slots game is about to pay out, though, it appears that it's possible to feel for the best time to try to sell a property - and the answer is April. 

There’s a little logic underpinning the identification of April as the best time to sell. April is at the height of Spring, and so if your home has a garden, April is when it will be looking at its best in terms of flowers and plants. It’s also the time of year when the days begin to get noticeably lighter and longer, and the weather is more agreeable in terms of getting outside and going to look at things. In the same way that ‘Spring cleaning’ is a known phenomenon, so is Spring selling. Buyers like the idea of being settled in their new properties in time to enjoy the Summer, and so they’ll get the ball rolling a few months beforehand to give themselves a better chance of making that happen. 

By contrast, the worst time of the year to sell a property is thought to be Summer - and so if you leave it just a few weeks too late to put your property on the market, you could find yourself struggling to find a buyer. We should add a caveat to this - in Summer, sales of apartments and small homes for single people or couples without children remain largely unchanged, but larger homes struggle to sell. Again, there's a logical explanation for this. During Summer, schools are out, and children are at home and need entertaining. Families either go on vacation or stay at home finding things to do with the children until they're ready to go back to school. Nobody is going to come to view your family home, because the type of family that may be interested in buying it is too busy to come and do so. 

Fall is a little better than Summer, although not by much. By the early weeks of Fall, people are already starting to think about the holiday season. They're planning for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year. Nobody would want to be stuck in the middle of a house move during Christmas, and so people are more inclined to wait until after the New Year than to start a process that might risk them having to move during cold weather, and on inconvenient dates. We all know that the mortgage process isn't swift, and so unless you're dealing with a cash buyer, you'll likely be looking at a six to eight-week turnaround for your buyer to complete the purchase. If that process doesn't get started until October, there's a strong chance it will drift into December, and that thought alone will put a lot of buyers off. 

Strangely, there is anecdotal evidence that houses that are listed for sale at the beginning of a week sell more quickly than those that are listed for sale toward the end of the week or on the weekend. We have no idea why this might be the case, but it could be down to nothing more mysterious than people waking up on Monday with a determination to do what they've been putting off for weeks in terms of house hunting, and booking viewings on the most recently-listed property they find.

So what should we take from this information? If you have property sell, should you want for the first Monday in April to give yourself the best possible chance of getting it sold quickly, or doesn't it really matter? Could a June listing date be the real reason your property is struggling to sell, as opposed to the wood paneling that you spent years meaning to replace but never quite got around to? We have no way of knowing, but at the same time, the facts don't lie. Houses listed for sale in April really do sell faster than houses listed at any other time of the year. Even if we don't accept the rationale behind it, we have to accept that it happens. 

It's January right now. If you're considering selling your home, perhaps it's worth pressing pause on that ambition for a few weeks and waiting for Spring to come. Take the chance to perform some minor home improvements and maximize your home's value. While you're at it, plant some beautiful flowers in the garden to impress prospective buyers with. By the time April comes around, they should be in full bloom - as should your chances of scoring a quick sale!

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