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Is It A Good Time To Sell A House?

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Is It A Good Time To Sell A House?
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Selling your home is a big decision that requires careful thought and planning. With the UK housing market constantly shifting, you may wonder if now is the right time to put your property on the market or if you should wait. There are several factors to weigh when deciding the best time to sell.

What will the UK housing market be like in 2024?

The UK housing market in 2024 remains robust yet moderating from the frenzy of the past couple of years during the pandemic. House prices continue rising but at a slower pace than previously. There is still strong demand among buyers, though competition has eased slightly. It is less of a seller’s market than 2021-2022 but still favours sellers overall.

Mortgage rates are rising, which impacts affordability. Yet the job market and economy remain relatively resilient. These conditions create a reasonably balanced housing market. There is less fierce bidding, and buyers are more discerning. Well-priced, desirable homes in good locations still sell quickly, in any case.

Overall, the market remains active, just with more stability returning. This provides a healthier environment for buyers and sellers alike. Those considering selling may find motivated buyers ready to move, especially in the spring and summer seasons.

Which season is best to sell a house in?

Spring and summer tend to be the most active seasons for housing sales. The weather is warmer and drier, making viewings more pleasant. Extended daylight hours allow buyers to view properties at their best. Families with children often aim to move before the new school year.

Properties attract the most significant interest when coming to market between March and August. January can also be a busy month. However, autumn can also be a good selling season once families are settled after the summer holidays.

Aim to complete renovations and preparations in the cooler winter months. This makes your home ready to launch towards springtime when buyer demand peaks on the warmer, brighter days. Avoid coming to the market too close to Christmas when activity slows.

Selling in the spring and summer allows the luxury of time to find suitable purchase properties during the autumn and winter. Rushing to buy in high season risks overpaying or compromise.  

Research your local area

Study sales data to understand buyer demand in your region and neighbourhood before listing your home. Track the volume of property sales along with prices achieved. This helps gauge the balance of supply versus buyers.

Register with portal websites and browse the competition. See which types of properties attract interest and strong prices in your location. Use online estimators to receive ballpark valuations.

Review market reports from reputable sources like Rightmove, Zoopla, banks, and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. These leading property websites, mortgage lenders and housing associations publish helpful insights into market conditions. Logging trends over recent years allows you to spot peaks, dips and turning points.

Understanding buyer demand, competition, and achievable sale prices ensures accurate pricing. This prevents over- or under-valuing in the prevailing market conditions. Realistic pricing secures viewings and offers. Keep monitoring local sales even after listing to adjust if needed.

Speak to estate agents and property experts

Discuss market conditions with local real estate agents before listing your home. Ask about current demand within surrounding neighbourhoods and for properties similar to yours. They can advise listing strategies to target buyers effectively.

Ask detailed questions about competition – how many comparable homes are currently listed and under offer in your area? What price bands and property features attract the most significant interest? Feedback will highlight any upgrades to make your home stand out while avoiding over-capitalising.

Inform agents of your moving timeline and expectations on the likely selling price. Allow them to inspect your property and provide their valuation guidance. They have current market knowledge from daily viewings and offer negotiations.

Take notes regarding recommended improvements to make your home more saleable. Minor renovations can raise interest and offers. However, avoid overspending on unused spaces.

For major works, consider consulting home staging companies. They review properties with selling in mind, suggesting styling and renovations to impress buyers. Their services prove worthwhile when executed appropriately.

Is the UK property market improving?

The UK property market shows signs of steadying over 2023-2024 after exceptional growth during the pandemic. House price inflation reached record double-digit highs in 2021 before cooling slightly. The market remains fundamentally supported by solid employment and low borrowing rates.

Mortgage rates have risen from all-time lows but remain relatively affordable historically. This counters price growth to some degree, slowing the rapid gains that have been seen recently. First-time buyers face more significant challenges in securing properties. Yet mortgage approvals continue running ahead of pre-pandemic levels, indicating strong demand.

Supply also recovered through 2022 – another stabilising factor after dire shortages mid-pandemic. Construction activity picked up, allowing inventory to be rebuilt. This gives buyers more choice and reduces frenzied competition. However, strategic shortages remain in some regions.

The UK housing sector appears healthy after turbo-charged activity during Covid-19 disruptions. Steady medium-term growth close to historical averages seems the likely path ahead. That bodes well for homeowners considering selling within a more transparent, less volatile market.

Personal factors to consider when deciding whether to sell

Alongside market conditions, review your motivations and financial position when deciding whether to sell your property. Personal circumstances like job changes or growing families often trigger moving home. Factor in elements like:

Property equity – Check if your existing home holds sufficient equity to fund the next purchase or meet other goals without being forced to sell.

Conversion costs – Can you afford any repairs, renovations or staging to maximise your home’s sale appeal?

Moving costs – Account for expenses like legal fees, removal services and stamp duty to ensure sufficient net proceeds.

Plans – Will selling now help you upgrade or downsize to fit evolving lifestyle needs better?

Financial security – Is selling mandated to release capital for priorities like paying off debts, paying education fees, or retiring?

Rental options – Alternatively, could you rent out your current home if unable to sell for the right price?

Lifestyle goals – Do you need to sell to facilitate major life plans like starting a family, changing careers or moving abroad? Be clear on your motivations before listing.

Health/mobility factors – Consider if your current property still suits evolving physical needs as you age. Stairs or upkeep may become problematic over time.

Inheritance plans – Selling may help distribute wealth across heirs if you own multiple homes—or free up capital to gift to children and grandchildren.

Investment returns – Crunching the numbers might show your capital better invested elsewhere if house prices plateau. However, transaction costs could erode gains from selling.

Market risks – Keep a close eye on economic conditions which may necessitate selling to crystallise returns before any potential market downturn.  

Tax implications – Consult professionals to minimise capital gains, inheritance or other tax repercussions from selling your residence.

Contingency options – As a backup, research letting out extra rooms or your whole property in case selling takes longer than anticipated.

Carefully weigh your motivations, financial means, and household needs before committing to selling. This ensures that selling fits both your current situation and longer-term plans. If in doubt, seek professional advice from mortgage brokers, legal consultants and tax experts.

If you own a house with tenants living in situ, you can sell directly to We Buy Any Home. Get in touch today.

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