If you are like most people, deciding when to sell a house always springs to mind. One thing’s for sure is you want to get the process underway immediately. There may be good reason for haste but I urge you to consider whether you are choosing the optimum time to sell a property.
Conventional wisdom states that the time of year makes a big difference when to sell a house. ‘Sell in spring or autumn,’ everyone says. ‘Don’t sell over Christmas or in winter.’ You will possibly be surprised if I inform you that this is incorrect, at least as a generalisation. Statistically, the time of year has no discernible impact on when to sell a house.
The main reason when to sell a house is supply and demand. So many people subscribe to the belief that the quantity of listings increases dramatically over spring and autumn. Meanwhile, the number of possible buyers remains fairly constant, but now they have a great deal more choice. The result is that the best property in each category (by type and price) gets maximum competition and achieves a terrific price, as it would at any other time of year. The remaining properties are competing with others, which can actually depress the price of all of them except in a booming market. Of course the media focuses on the spectacular sales and the myth is perpetuated.
In reality, all that really phases out over Christmas is the auctions. Private treaty sales continue unabated with many properties being marketed ‘on the quiet’ to great effect. However the media tends to see new auctions surface in February as signalling the start of the selling year.
Considering when to sell a house there are however, some specific seasonal factors that may be relevant to you:
School holidays: If you are selling a property that is likely to appeal exclusively to families, you should avoid having your first two weeks of marketing over the holidays when many potential buyers could be away.
Gardens: Some homes have gardens that only look good at certain times of the year. Obviously it is worth trying to take advantage of this. Alternatives are having photos done in advance.
Relocation market: Your property may be ideal for the relocation market, especially if it is of ‘executive’ quality and in close proximity of the city. Such buyers mostly want to move in before the start of the school year. This means that marketing over Christmas and early in the New Year can be very effective. Incidentally whilst everyone wishfully focuses on cashed up ‘expat’ buyers desperate to spend their pounds, euros and American dollars, far more people move from interstate and locally who also want to be in before the school year.
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