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The best time to buy or sell a property

October 19, 2012

With fluctuating house prices and one of the wettest summers on record, you can be forgiven for wanting to shut yourself away and avoid the need for moving house.

Whether it’s relocating for a new job, a new addition to the family or the desire for more space to relax and entertain in, most of us will contemplate having to move house some time in our lives.

For many of us, moving house is not a financial option at the moment, and of course there are many ways that you can make the most of the space you’ve already got. But, if you do decide that a move is on the cards, knowing the best time of the year to change your abode can help with planning and getting the most out of your investment.


 Are you in need of extra space?

If you want to be in a new property in time for Christmas, then you need to be seriously looking now. There are significant advantages at this time of year. From a buyers’ viewpoint homes that came onto the market with the expectation of a spring sale will, by now, have trimmed prices and could be more affordable, and from a sellers’ viewpoint there probably won’t be many new houses coming onto the market over the next couple of months. So if you’re a buyer then take a look at what’s available, today.

As we move closer to Christmas, December is traditionally a quiet month for buying, with many people instead focusing on the build up to the festive period. However, this time of year shouldn’t be excluded if you’re in the hunt for your perfect property.

While there may be fewer properties coming onto the market, it could be a great time to pick up a bargain as often at this time of the year people are in good moods and more inclined to be generous. Also with fewer buyers there’s less likely to be multiple offers or competition for the same properties. So if you’ve got some time off over Christmas it could be a great time to trawl the property pages and start the New Year in a new home.


 Remember the best time of year to buy a home is when you find one you love!

The best time of the year to sell a house is the spring

As with buying, the key times to sell your property are spring and autumn when traditional demand outstrips supply and, therefore, prices are usually at their most buoyant. The spring particularly will see those buyers and sellers that will have gone into property hibernation during the winter months coming out of the woodwork.


 Open your door to potential buyers

However, if the time is right for you to sell your home outside these peak periods then here are some tips towards a successful sale:

1. Choose a good estate agent
Remember, estate agents don’t get paid for homes that don’t sell, so make them work hard for you when either buying or selling. Ask friends and family for recommendations. Look for agents that are selling similar properties to yours and get three or four agents to visit and value your property.

2. Make sure the price is right
When selling your home you are going to want to achieve the best price for it, so it’s important that the asking price is appropriate for the style of property, size and location. There are lots of tools available online, such as Zoopla, where you can check the price properties in your area have sold for. That way you have the information you need when you call the estate agent out to value your property. If you want to move home, be prepared to be flexible on your own asking price and to do some serious negotiating work getting the seller of the home you hope to buy to act accordingly.

3. Get your house shipshape
It’s important to ready your property for a sellers market. Who do you think your house will appeal to the most? Having a target buyer in mind will allow you to make some inexpensive and cosmetic changes so they can see themselves in your property. De-cluttering and adding a lick of paint are just two great ways to help prospective buyers to fall in love with your property. And if it doesn’t sell straight away it’s a nicer space for you to live in.

So is now the right time to buy or sell a house?

The outlook for the housing market is mixed. Some industry experts expect things to pick up in 2013, while others believe it will remain subdued and stable next year. Given such uncertainty, the question of whether you should buy should be based on how long you plan to own the property, whether it personally suits you and most importantly whether you can afford it.

Good luck whether you’re a house hunter or house seller. If you’ve got any house buying / selling tips please share them with us.

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