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The Best Time To Buy And Sell A Home

Oct 23, 2007
In the long-term property prices tend to move in an upward trend with occasional stagnation and downturns along the way. There are times when asking prices are sky high and other times when they are slightly lower. However, what a lot of people don't realise is this is equally true in a shorter time frame, and there are times of the year that are better than others for buying and selling a home.

Let's start by looking at the best time of the year to buy a property. Obviously if you're looking for a potential property, then you obviously want to get the lowest price possible. Therefore the best time of the year to buy is when the market is at it's most quietest, ie when there are less potential buyers out there looking and competing for properties.

If there are fewer viewers looking at properties then there will obviously be fewer people bidding for them which means you are more likely to be able to get an offer accepted well below the asking price.

So when are the best times to buy?

Well the market is significantly quieter during the winter months, particularly during December and January so this is an excellent time to buy.

There are generally slightly fewer properties on the market at this time, but if you do see a house you like, then you are more likely to be able to pick up a bargain.

Another good time to buy, but to a slightly lesser extent, is during the holiday season, ie late July through to the end of August, when most potential buyers take a rest from looking at properties to concentrate on their holidays. In general though the winter months are the best time to buy.

Now let's look at the best times of the year to sell a home. Here we are obviously looking to receive the best price possible so we ideally want to put the house on the market when the market is most buoyant, so there are lots of people viewing and competing for properties, which drives the prices higher.

After the lull of the winter months, the market tends to pick up again from March onwards, so this is the time when you should be thinking about putting your house up for sale. In general, the spring and summer months up until the holiday season starts are the best times to sell because this is when the buyers are out in force and competing hard with each other.

This is good news for you as you can often set your asking price a little bit higher than the true market value knowing that there's a good chance that people will pay a slight premium and pay at or close to a higher asking price in order to fight off any other potential buyers.

The next best time to sell your house is during the autumn months when the kids are back at school and the holiday season is over, but the only problem is that if you don't sell during this time, you have to try and find a buyer and get a good price in the long winter months when the market is quieter.

So to conclude, if you're looking to buy then the best time to do so is during the winter months and late summer, and if you're looking to sell then you should have your home on the market during the spring and summer months if you want to achieve a higher asking price.
About the Author
James Woolley runs a blog that discusses all aspects of money including shares, property, running your own business, and basically how to build wealth in general.
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