By Holly Barry, @HJBarry
This is the big question that we all want to know the answer to when the time comes to selling our home – after all, there is a lot at stake and we don’t want to get it wrong.
The best time to sell a house is when there are the most people looking to buy a house as the competition will mean that your house will go for as much as possible.
However, this isn’t the only factor that has to be taken into account when selling a home – there can be advantages and disadvantages to each season.
You only need that one buyer, so marketing to the right buyer at any time of year can work. Ultimately, you want a buyer to immediately fall in love with your home to get a fast sale for the right price.
Selling your house in autumn
The housing market in the autumn generally picks up after the school year begins and you can take advantage of this year for a quick sale as it is in everyone’s interests to complete before Christmas.
Autumn can also be a pretty time of year, with plenty of days of sunshine and colourful trees that make property visits attractive.
- Regularly rake fallen leaves from the lawn so the leaves don’t build up and turn to mulch.
- Make sure that garden furniture and the children’s trampoline are clear of leaves.
- Create more space – use storage companies to clear over-filled loft space, spare rooms and cupboards. You will have likely put all garden toys and furniture away for the winter, but transfer them to storage rather than over-fill your garden shed. Lack of storage space will contribute to a low valuation when the surveyor comes to look at your property.
- Choose a selection of shiny, colourful apples for your fruit bowl. At the beginning of the season, some sunflowers or chrysanthemums make a great autumnal centrepiece. Leave a warm apple pie on the side if you really want to show off!
Selling your house in winter
There is no doubt that some seasons are easier to sell a house than others. In winter, homes and gardens can look drab and uninspiring due to the dark light and miserable weather. Add to this, the long Christmas period now stretches over a couple of months where people are just too busy to think about buying a house.
- Take advantage of homely comforts – create a warm and inviting interior as visitors will be coming in from the cold weather
- Arrange lamps in corners of rooms to create warm lighting
- Use plug-in cinnamon, mulled wine and spice air fresheners and reed diffusers
- Take advantage of the leaves being off the trees if your home has a beautiful view usually blocked by trees – make sure blinds and curtains are pulled back
- Gardens can appear more spacious without the leaves in winter – make sure the garden is tidy to show it at its best for the season
- Light or tidy fireplaces to show that they are well used
- Use fur throws, candles and cushions to create a hygge feel
- Turn the heating on to warm up the home before viewers arrive
Selling your house in spring
Spring has long been noted as the optimum time of year to sell your home. March and April see the first (for sale) signs of spring shoot up and quickly multiply after the winter lull.
There is no doubt that the warmer weather and lighter days inspire people to start house hunting. Not only this, but families are often looking to purchase a home in time for the new school year so this makes springtime ideal.
The problem is that with the sudden inundation of properties up for sale in the spring is that buyers have so much more to choose from, resulting in more competition when buying and selling.
In fact, this year’s spring surge has already surpassed last year’s figures with 43% more properties on the market in spring 2018.
So, spring may be the best time to sell your home, but how do you make the most out of it?
- Place spring bouquets on mantelpieces and entrance halls
- Swap dark winter colours for lighter spring shades – add on-trend teal ceramics to surfaces and swap bedding, cushions, throws and towels for a lighter spring colour schemes
- Welcome in the outdoors with plants like seagrass and jute. Frame natural landscapes.
- Open windows to let natural spring light in. If you have a bay window add cushions to create a window seat.
- Clear dust and dead insects from shutters.
- Don’t overprice your home at this competitive time of year – in a more saturated market people don’t even view houses above their price range.
- Wipe away winter – a spring clean can give your home a total refresh reviving it after a long gloomy winter. Power wash patios and paving.
- Declutter and organise to create more space – put those winter clothes, coats and bedding into storage or vacuum pack them flat. A full-to-bursting wardrobe or airing cupboard with make viewers think storage is inadequate.
- Use fresh scents – spring scents will create a positive feel within your home as viewers walk in. Replace the spicy winter scents with light florals and clean linen smells. Why not try making some DIY sprays.
- Book a regular window cleaner during the viewing period via direct debit so that you don’t need to remember. The sun will shine through, bounce off the walls and give a spacious, positive feeling to viewers.
Selling your house in summer
Summer can be a tricky time of year to sell a house people often go away on holiday during the school summer holidays. This includes everyone in a house buying and selling process – potential buyers, surveyors, estate agents and solicitors.
Instead of house-hunting, parents will be busy occupying the children during the school holidays. Many families go abroad on holiday in the summer and so buying a home is the last thing on their mind.
During the summer season you will have to think carefully about how to best show off your home:
- Make a grand entrance – buyers are said to make a lasting first impression in 60 seconds. Make sure it is the best looking house on the street – people can be competitive! Make sure paths are cleared and doors and window frames are freshly painted.
- Change your doormat with each season – think about hanging a seasonal wreath at the door. Sunflowers or dried roses work well in summer.
- Add hanging baskets and tubs at the door. Pansies, geraniums and petunias give a pop of colour during summer days. They are high maintenance though and will need watering with plant food every evening.
- Make sure your fruit bowl is full of seasonal summer fruits and berries for viewings – it will add some colour and energy to a kitchen.
- Open the windows – you don’t want viewers walking into a hot, stuffy house.
- Add some summer flowers in vases to any tables in the garden to show that the garden is an extension of the home space. You can continue this extension by scattering cushions and candles outside too. Make sure your outdoor space can be seen being used.
Springtime is traditionally the best time for selling a house. Typically, the housing market awakens from a winter slowdown around March and continues its upward trend until the summer. Summer sees a slight decrease as people go away on holiday after which there is another upward trend in the autumn before another dip over Christmas.
However, there are clearly benefits with each season. Sometimes you don’t have a choice about when to sell. So if you feel your house will be affected by the season, choose carefully if you can and utilise the tips above!