When Is The Best Time To Sell Your Home?

by Katie Hogg

Friday, September 14th, 2018

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PR photograph of David Marshall, Operations Director at Warners LLP | PR Scotland

As the ‘quiet’ summer months come to an end, David Marshall, Operations Director with Warners Solicitors & Estate Agents – the capital’s leading estate agents, discusses the most beneficial time for sellers in Edinburgh and the Lothians to put their property on the market.

Selling a home can be a stressful time for many people, and can raise a lot of important questions that need to be considered from the offset. One that we get asked more often than not as estate agents is ‘when is the best time to sell a home?’

What would seem a straightforward question is, in fact, not a simple one for a variety of reasons.

While many people tend to think that spring is the busiest time for the housing market, and traditionally the best time to part ways with their property, this isn’t necessarily the case.

If you were to go back around 15 or 20 years, the housing market was considerably more seasonal than it is now. The activity would really pick up in early March through to the end of May before quietening down for the summer months when people disappeared off on holiday to various destinations.

Things would then pick back up again after the summer holidays were over and then slow right down again in November and December as people turned their thoughts to celebrating the festive period and getting everything in order for the big day itself.

Although the number of homes being bought and sold is still a little higher during these ‘peak’ periods of the year, the market today isn’t nearly as seasonal as it once was.

With advances in technology, buyers can now continue to easily search the internet for properties even when they are on holiday, making use of tablets, laptops and mobile devices. Sellers and solicitor estate agents can also make sure that properties are marketed effectively all year round as well, which also reduces seasonal fluctuations.

However, it’s also important to note that when you’re trying to decide on when the best time to sell is, what you really want to know isn’t when the market is the busiest, but when the balance between supply and demand is most in your favour.

As a seller, you will want demand to be high and the supply of properties competing for buyers’ attention to be comparatively low. Believe it or not, this means that the best time of year to sell is often during the first two or three weeks of the year.

Potential buyers begin to look for a new property almost as soon as the New Year has been rung in. This means that early January sees a huge upturn in demand with finding a new home a top priority on many buyers’ New Year’s resolution lists.

Unfortunately, most sellers aren’t in a position to get their home onto the market that quickly into the new year, often because they are still recovering – be it mentally, physically or financially – from the festive period.

This means that if you plan ahead and make sure you’re in a position to get your home on the market early in the new year you can take advantage of heightened demand at a time when competition from other sellers is typically much lower, increasing your chances of getting a great price for your property.

As with anything, your own circumstances matter a great deal and, for many people, there actually isn’t a ‘best time’ to sell at all.

Most of us sell and buy at the same time and within a relatively small geographical area. If conditions are favourable for you when you sell, they’ll probably be tougher for you on the purchase side of things and vice versa.

Currently, the Edinburgh market is favouring sellers due to demand outweighing supply. However, with a number of properties hitting the market over summer months, conditions are beginning to balance out and make things slightly better for buyers.

Being aware of the state of the current market will hold you in good stead whether you are looking to buy or sell, as will seeking advice from an experienced estate agent who will be able to guide you through the process and clear up any queries you may have.

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Katie Hogg is part of the PR team at Holyrood PR in Scotland

Katie Hogg

Katie Hogg is part of the award-winning PR team at Holyrood PR. She is also a former journalist, most notably with luxury lifestyle magazine, Scottish Field

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