Conventional wisdom and history suggests that the success rates of selling a home in winter and summer tend to be lower than other times of the year, and there are many reasons for this.
Let’s say that your outdoor space is one of the biggest considerations when purchasing property. Emotionally, the sight of a bare, barren, lifeless patch of garden in January might not endear you to a property that boasts spectacular blooms and wildlife in July.
Winter is difficult for the seller. Houses can look drab and dark in the cold weather. Potential buyers might not want to leave their house for viewings in the bad weather, and may be unable to see the house in the day due to work commitments – meaning that they’ll put it off altogether.
There’s also the logistics of processing a sale when people are on winter holidays, or off for Christmas or New Year. Paperwork slows down, banks are closed, and estate agents are on holiday. Money is also tight as people concentrate on buying presents and excesses of food. Any work that needed doing around the home is probably left unfinished or touched until January is well under way.
The flip side is that a house snapped in the snow can appear romantic and homely, so make sure you get at least a few pictures to give to online estate agents.
However, the housing market is often primed to take advantage of New Year resolutions and changes of lifestyle. People who’ve had a bad previous year might be desperate to move on in January and February. And, sad to say, but many break-ups occur straight after Christmas – that means that one half of a couple are looking for new accommodation.
According to Ian Westerling of Humberts estate agents, writing in the Daily Mail, Rightmove had more than 500,000 visits on Christmas Day alone last year, rising to 1.3m on Boxing Day. It seems counterintuitive but the fact that fewer homes are perceived to be selling can actually be an advantage to those who do go onto the market, simply because many people choose to wait – and there’s therefore less competition to catch the buyers’ eyes.
Similarly, if a family has seen a home they fancy in autumn, then they will want to be installed in time for the festive season. A quick sale through a company such as www.HouseSimple.com can reduce the wait by up to 50 days, simply by cutting out admin. It’s also usually cheaper.
What of selling a home in summer? It also presents difficulties and is not traditionally as successful as spring and autumn. The summer is a period for holidays and spending time with the kids and people don’t want to be bothered searching properties.
However, that doesn’t mean you should give up hope as a seller. Keep maintaining the garden and keeping the rooms tidy. Just as the dark of winter presents rooms in an unflattering way, so the sunshine of June and July will lay bare any poor DIY or decorating work.
It’s possible to sell your home at any point of the year, but some months might be easier than others. If you’re not sure seek advice – and maybe hang on until the time is right.