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The Best & Worst Time of the Year to Sell a House

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Selling a property is affected by many different factors, and it can be a long and difficult process. One of them is timing, which can either make or break a property sale. Whether it’s to do with the rainy seasons keeping buyers away or, perhaps, the warmer months encouraging buyers to go for viewings. There are seasonal differences that can play a part. However, it’s not just about getting the property sold; the time of the year can result in a longer process filled with delays.  

In this article, we’ll look through historical data, trends, and insights to help you sell a house no matter the season. 

Let’s get started.

What was the best month to sell a house in 2023?

The answer to this question depends on two factors. Sales volume or average property price. This is because, for some people, being able to sell is more important than getting the highest possible price. 

Let’s take a look at the data:

When it comes to the highest average property price in the UK, August was the best possible month, boasting an impressive figure of £292,882. So, for sellers looking to maximise the best possible price, August was the best month. 

However, the answer takes a different turn if we take a look at the total amount of sales volume.

March was the best month for this aspect, recording the highest number of property transactions throughout the year. 

However, keep in mind that the data available at the time of writing doesn’t include Q4 (October-December). Historically, the autumn-winter months tend to experience a dip in sales activity anyway. So, while we can’t currently analyse the specific Q4 statistics, the broader trend year on year suggests a typical slowdown during this period. So, if you’re looking to sell, avoiding the latter part of the year can prove to be a good decision. 

With all of this considered, we have to take into account that 2023 has not been easy by any stretch. Throughout the year, we’ve seen many sectors affected by the ongoing cost of living crisis and recession fears, and the property market is no exception. In fact, statistics show a wildly different picture in 2022, where August witnessed the highest number of recorded sales.

2023 has been a year where we’ve seen fewer transactions; however, the average property price has continued to rise. So, for sellers, the time it takes to sell has definitely increased. 

Which is the best month to sell a house typically?

So, if you’re looking to sell in the future, it’s a good idea to avoid the worst months and plan ahead. Historically, March has always been the best month to sell. This might be the case for a number of reasons. 

For example, families make up a significant proportion of buyers. Families tend to plan ahead, and their reason for moving can be academic, like trying to purchase a property in a postal code that allows access to a specific school. So, by making a purchase in March, buyers can comfortably settle into their new homes before the next school year begins. This also aligns with the broader trend of increased purchasing activity in the spring and early summer months.

Another reason can be that March is the time of year when buyers have access to more funds. Typically, in the late summer months and winter periods, there are more expenses, including holidays. However, in March, many find themselves with extra cash flow, which can be put towards purchasing a property. 

Additionally, March is a better time to sell just because it’s easier to get the property to be sold. In the Winter months, getting renovations carried out can be difficult due to delays caused by the weather or lack of availability. However, at the start of the year through to March, there will be more availability and slightly better weather, which can ensure reduced delays. 

What are the worst months to sell a house?

As you may have guessed, the worst months to sell a house are typically during the winter months.

December and January stand out as the hardest months for sellers. The winter, coupled with buyers being preoccupied with the holiday season, often leads to a slowdown in property estate activity. 

Moreover, colder weather can impact the appeal of properties, especially when the weather limits the ability to provide efficient viewings of the outdoor spaces. 

November, too, can be a tricky month for selling a house. As the year comes to an end, individuals become preoccupied with year-end responsibilities. Many may have to budget for other expenses, which can affect their affordability. 

However, it’s not just the winter, July and August present their own set of challenges. It’s a similar issue with buyers being more preoccupied with holidays. Some buyers, especially families, will have limited focus on buying a house and are rather preoccupied with getting their children ready for school.

While these months may appear challenging, it’s not always the case. In some cities and towns, there may be other differences which can influence the timing of property transactions. So, if you’re looking to sell, make sure you analyse the local market conditions to help prepare accordingly. 

What time of year do houses sell cheapest?

For buyers looking for a discount or for sellers looking to avoid selling cheap, this is incredibly important. Houses sell at the cheapest when they are difficult to sell. Most sellers will choose to sell cheap when they are trying to avoid a long, drawn-out selling process. 

So, as we mentioned earlier in the article, the worst times of the year will be the times when houses sell at the cheapest. In November, many sellers will be looking to finalise the sale before December. So they will be more motivated and engaged to listen to lower offers or negotiations. 

Additionally, in December, many sellers may get more desperate. With reduced buyers on the market, sellers will look to incentivise buyers with a reduction in the price. This creates opportunities for those who are actively searching for a property and are willing to engage in negotiations.

Buyers with flexibility in their moving timelines may find that December offers a unique window to secure a property at a price that aligns with their budget. Sellers, in turn, may see the value in concluding a sale before the end of the year, providing a potential win-win scenario.

Is it still a good time to sell a property?

A question many will face themselves asking is if it’s still a good time to sell a property. To answer this, we need to take a look at the current conditions and future projections. Despite the challenges that may arise during certain months, sellers can still achieve a sale no matter when they choose to sell. 

2023 has proven to be a challenging year across various sectors, including real estate. The statistics have shown a decrease in property sales by almost 13% compared to 2022. However, with that said, property prices have continued to remain high. So, sellers need to keep in mind that it can take longer to sell, but they can still achieve a higher sale price. Although, this can depend on your personal situation and if you have the time to wait. If you don’t, there are other options available, which we’ll discuss next. 

Another aspect to keep in mind is that it’s not just months that sellers need to take a look at. There are regional differences, where in some locations, it can take months longer to sell as opposed to others where properties can be sold faster. This is based on supply and demand and some areas being more desirable than others. 

If you’re ready to sell but you feel like you’re up against the worst months of the year to sell – it’s not over yet. You can look to adjust your strategy of selling to help get your property sold. That may involve reducing your asking price or looking at other avenues of selling. 

While certain months may be traditionally viewed as more favourable or challenging, if you’re looking to sell, you should approach the process with flexibility and have a strong awareness of current market realities. Through this, you can avoid having unrealistic expectations, which will ultimately prove useful in getting your property sold. 

Tips to sell a property during bad months (And any other month)

While it may seem difficult to sell during the worst months. It’s not impossible. Here are a few tips to help you get your property sold:

Get expectations aligned 

While it may not be something you want to hear, sometimes you have to accept the fact it’s not always possible to sell quickly and for the highest price possible. There has to be some form of concession somewhere. So, the first thing you need to do is figure out how long you’re willing to wait. Next, you need to identify how much you’d like to sell the property for. This includes both the highest and lowest offer that you’ll accept. This will require you to take a look at similar properties that have been sold recently and how much they were sold for. This will provide you with some local market insights. 

Highlight Advantages

Rather than viewing challenging months as obstacles, identify and showcase the unique advantages of your property during that season. This might be something like a fireplace or well-insulated windows. Most buyers will be looking for energy-efficiency and well-insulated properties. What better month to show these features than in the coldest months of the year?

Of course, this will require that you have these benefits in place before you begin selling. If you don’t, buyers may pick up on the lack of these features. 

Look at other options

Many assume the fastest way to sell a house relies on the efficiency of their estate agent. However, this isn’t the case. There are other ways to get a house sold. The following options are best for those who are more concerned about getting their property sold quickly rather than getting the highest value for their property. 

Auctions

Selling your property through an auction is another option if you don’t have time to wait. They provide a sense of urgency that can be advantageous during traditionally slower months. 

Auctions typically have a fixed timeline, providing sellers with the opportunity to complete the transaction quickly. This can be particularly appealing during months when a quick sale is necessary.

The competitive nature of auctions can drive up the property’s price, potentially leading to a more favourable outcome for sellers. This can be especially advantageous even in challenging months, as motivated buyers may see the auction as an opportunity to secure a property efficiently. However, this is never guaranteed, and there is always the chance that your minimum bid price isn’t met. 

Additionally, auctions often come with clear and non-negotiable terms, streamlining the selling process. This clarity can be attractive to both buyers and sellers, reducing the likelihood of prolonged negotiations.

Cash house buyers

Another option is to sell your property to a cash house buyer. If there are no other buyers interested in your property, then a cash house buyer route is often the best route to take. 

Cash house buyers have the cash funds ready, which eliminates the need for mortgage approvals. This can ensure a faster sale, which is particularly useful when looking for a quick turnaround, even during traditionally slow months.

Additionally, cash buyers often require fewer contingencies compared to traditional buyers, streamlining the sale process and minimising future obstacles that could arise during negotiations.

Another great feature of this option is that cash house buyers are typically more amenable to purchasing properties in their current condition, sparing sellers the need for extensive repairs or renovations. This can be particularly advantageous when selling during challenging months, where property improvements might be less feasible.

Bottom Line

To conclude, March is typically the best time to sell a house. While the worst months are reserved for the winter months. 

However, if you’re looking to sell a house fast, you’re in the right place. If you’re struggling to get your property sold and want to explore your options further, get in touch with us at Sold.co.uk. We offer different ways to ensure you can get your property sold as quickly as possible.

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