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When is the right time of year to sell?

 As an Estate Agent who has been in the business for more years than I would care to mention, if I had a pound for every time I was asked this question I would be incredibly wealthy by now!

 Obviously as we head into December the property market slows considerably.  As the Christmas trees go up our minds turn to family, friends and mince pies, but once the tinsel is down many people think ‘shall we move, when is the right time to try and put our house on the market?’

 It is a common belief that Spring is the time to aim for, I’ve never fully understood this, I do agree that gardens look more attractive as the daffodils start to bloom and people feel better once the gloom of Winter starts to lift, but the truth is there is no such thing as a ‘right time’.

 Potential buyers are active all year round; someone out there always has a reason to move, moving in together, separating, upsize, downsize, relocation , investment, the list goes on and none of these things are seasonal!  The only seasonal event seems to be moving for school catchment areas and this does indeed tend to happen in the Spring.

 The problem with waiting to until the Spring is so does everyone else.  There are two schools of thought here - when there are a lot of properties on the market the market, in general, feels more buoyant, there is more activity, more viewers…more chance of a sale?  Maybe?  Maybe not?  Would be buyers have more options, more to compare against, they are likely to look at more properties before making a decision, they will compare the hi-lights of each property, weigh them all up and then make an offer which reflects how your property compares – which is not necessarily the same as its full potential.  If you can attract more than one buyer then you are likely to achieve a better price than if a buyer makes an offer knowing that if you do not accept it there are three other properties available that they could go for instead.

 So what is the answer?  If you want to sell your home, go for it!  Put it on the market and see what happens, there are genuine, motivated buyers around all year and you only need one!  Most agents offer a no sale no fee agreement, choose an agent with no upfront costs (like ourselves) and you have nothing to lose.

 It is the right time to sell if it is the right time for you

Every month when I write this article I do make a conscious effort not to repeat myself and go over old ground. However, I am sure that at some point previously I have urged optimism to avoid negative press becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy – and I think we are there again.

The Brexit vote and the changes in investors’ Stamp Duty were always going to create some unease in the economic climate. Something I read this morning headlined ‘Transactions down across the UK by almost 20% on this time last year’ made my blood run a little cold, so I read on … turns out this is a snapshot for October, it said that transactions were down 3.3% against September and 18.8% against last October.

I do love these attention grabbing headlines, designed purely to provide a bit of drama – as a sentence in isolation it does not tell the story, neither do these figures, and the danger is that if everyone gets on the bandwagon, the next thing we know the property market and the economy will become paralysed as everyone waits to see what’s going to happen.

The property market has always been cyclical, but I think this year’s cycle has been distorted with a lot of transactions being driven through in the first half of the year ahead of the Stamp Duty change. Statistics for the first quarter showed a 15% increase in transactions year on year, but the general feeling is that, with the lag on transactions being updated on Land Registry, it may actually be higher than that, and overall the first half of 2016 outperformed the same period in 2015. It is my view that in terms of house sales, 2016 was front loaded leading to a quieter second half.

The implication of Brexit remains to be seen, and it will still be quite a while before anything even starts to unfold. For the time being the uncertainty of Brexit will be mostly affecting areas where there are more international buyers ie London and the South East; Shropshire is relatively untouched, at least for now.

So as our Jen would say, ‘fill your cup up love’! A bit of positivity and optimism in the property market will go a long way. 2016 has been a bit of a funny year but it hasn’t all been gloomy, the first half of the year was great, the second half a bit tougher but not all bad.

Katie Hatten MNAEA
Sales and Marketing Manager
Foden Property

To celebrate what has been a cracking year at Foden Property, and to add a bit of festive cheer check out our latest fee deal!

 

 

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