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When is the best time to put my house on the market?

Oliver Ball, Cheshire estate agent, taking photo of a property

There are typically seasonal peaks and troughs in activity in the property market throughout the

year. Spring is typically the busiest time, with more buyers out looking but also more properties

for sale, so there’s increased competition for sellers. The market then generally quietens down

over summer when a lot of people go on holiday, and then picks up again in September. It

remains relatively busy until late November/early December when things slow down again for

Christmas. So, most people assume that spring is the best time to put a property on the market.

Whilst it is true that there are usually more buyers looking for properties at this time of year,

there are also a lot more properties coming to the market. Therefore, if you put your property on

the market at this time, you will be competing with lots of other properties all trying to attract

buyers. This can result in sellers undercutting each other on price and ultimately achieving a

lower sale price if supply outstrips demand.


One of the reasons spring is a popular time to think about moving house is that the days are

getting longer and the weather is improving, but bad weather can stall the market. In spring

2023 we experienced a cold snap and snowfall in March, which meant the traditionally busy

property market was delayed.


Many people avoid putting their homes on the market in wintertime because there are fewer

buyers around, the weather is generally worse, days are shorter and people are preoccupied

with Christmas. All of these are valid reasons, but also bear in mind that, with fewer properties

coming to the market, the buyers who are looking in winter – and there are always some buyers

looking, because people need to move all year round for a variety of reasons – will have fewer

properties to choose from, meaning they could be more likely to view your property and fall in

love with it. Also, buyers who are looking for a property in winter tend to be serious buyers who

need to move house, so whilst we conduct fewer viewings in winter, those viewings are more

likely to result in a sale.


Rightmove reports that there is a general slowdown in property searches in December, and

searches are at their lowest on Christmas Day, but many people are surprised to learn that there

is a spike in searches on Boxing Day, so if you are thinking of putting your property on the

market in winter, a Boxing Day launch is good idea. And it’s worth remembering there are lots of

other external factors that are difficult or impossible to predict that have an effect on the property

market, such as weather, the wider economy (including changes in interest rates), political

events (for example, a general election), public holidays (for events like coronations or jubilee

celebrations) to name a few. So, there are pros and cons for every time of year, and the best

time to put your property on the market is when it is right for you and your own individual

circumstances.

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