Should I Sell My House Now?
Many people decide to sell their house for many different reasons; to move to a new city, start a family in a bigger home, downsize or simply because the pandemic made them reevaluate their living space.
However, the decision to sell isn’t always a welcome one and can be out of your hands, whether it’s debt, divorce or the need to relocate because of work.
Regardless of your situation, it’s never easy knowing whether now is a good time to sell your house or not. Many factors can determine how long it takes to find a buyer and how much your house will sell for.
When is the best time to sell a house?
The best time to sell a house is typically in the spring and summer months. When a house is sold in June, July, August and September, the process takes 62 days on average, according to Rightmove’s 2020 data. However, Zoopla reported that in the same time period in 2022, the number of house sales agreed was up 38%, showing that buyer demand and a ‘hot’ housing market where there is more buyer demand than there are houses on the market can make a big difference - especially if the prices are competitive.
However, while the long, warm summer days make the best conditions to move house in, many families may prioritise the summer holidays, which can sometimes slow down the housing market. Thus, putting your home on the market in March or April could acquire more interest.
When is the worst time to sell a house?
According to data from Rightmove and Compare My Move, winter is the least popular season among buyers for moving house. While January is the worst month to sell a house, it is in the New Year that people start researching properties for a fresh start after Christmas. So, while interest in your property is likely to increase, it is unlikely that any buyers will be ready to complete the transaction until later in the year.
It might also be best to hold off selling your home if the supply is high, meaning the housing market is saturated with more homes than buyers. This results in homes taking longer to sell and some not selling at all.
Another reason to wait before selling your house is if you don’t have enough equity. This means that you could end up breaking even on the sale and not making any profit. Equity comes from paying off the principal balance of your mortgage. The better the equity is, the more profit you will make from the house sale. This means you can pay off the remainder of your mortgage and any closing costs, and the rest of the money earned in the sale is paid out to you as profit. A general rule is that you should stay in your home for a minimum of 5 years before selling to ensure that you at least break even on the sale.
Different property types sell better at different times of the year.
While detached and semi-detached houses are always in demand, small 1-2 bed flats and terraced houses tend to be more popular at the start of university terms in January, February and September. Meanwhile, bungalows are most popular in the warmer summer months.
How long is the selling process?
On average, the selling process took 67 days to sell a house in 2020. This can vary by region, season, and the state of the economy; for example, homes in London take longer to sell on average. In addition, house prices increased by 9.9% since COVID-19 in 2021 compared to 2020. Since the pandemic, more buyers are looking for spaces where they can work in hybrid working patterns, both from home and in the office.
Other variables include your house's value and your conveyancing solicitor's efficiency. It is important to ensure you find the best deal by comparing solicitor quotes before you decide to sell your home.
How to speed up the process
There are many ways to help speed up the conveyancing process, such as organising paperwork and getting a mortgage in principle as soon as you can. Sorting out your Energy Performance Certificate can also speed up the process as this has to be included with a sale by law.
One of the biggest holdups in the moving process can be slow conveyancing. We’re proud to offer an industry-leading ‘Fast’ upgrade as part of our services, guaranteeing exchange in 5 weeks for a freehold property and 8 weeks for a leasehold, or get your upgrade fee back for every week over the timeline.
Selling your house is not a decision that should be taken lightly. You must consider all of the factors surrounding selling your house and explore your options before making a final decision.
If you’re still unsure and would like more information and advice on the property market and if selling your house is the right decision, feel free to get in touch or get a free quote for our conveyancing services.