Make no mistake, the property market is seasonal and although we have more buyers than sellers most of the time, releasing your property at the optimal time can mean a higher sale price.
When the property market is tougher, the seasonal buyer trends have more of an impact. Therefore, timing the release of your property (to coincide with the time most new buyers are looking) becomes more important to secure the most viewings and therefore the best price.
Everyone knows that spring is a really popular time for new home hunters to start their search, but by the end of June, the flurry has all but petered out, leaving only a few buyers left looking.
By July, the holiday season is upon us and particularly when the schools break up, most people are either on holiday or enjoying/suffering (whatever the case may be!) their children’s company.
This trend tends to make august the second worst month for new sales. The worst of course being December but I will come back to that.
September is a very good window for selling but it shuts down quite quickly so understanding your buyers’ movements and timing the release of your property for sale can be crucial.
Our experience is that the second week in September is very busy and my advice to vendor clients is always to try and have the property on the market by then.
Over the summer holiday many families start to feel cramped in their existing homes. The children have grown a bit then it rains, the children and their toys/bikes come into the house from the garden. This is often the time of stark revelation that the house is just too small.
In my experience (at least in my local area of SW16) the mother is often the person feeling the brunt of this situation and feeling a real need to get into a more comfortable environment.
When the holidays are over and the children are back at school, it gives the family space and time to think about buying and selling to ensure that they are not in a worse situation next year. That is when the hunt tends to start in earnest.
This is why we get nearly as many valuations the second week of September as in the first sunny week in spring.
In the UK many of us think of Christmas and the new calendar year as very finite points in time. It is for this reason that people want to find, sell and buy prior to the Christmas/New Year break.
As the average sale in the UK takes between 8-12 weeks, you can see that this doesn’t leave much time.
In my experience the September window – or as I fondly refer to it, The Mums’ Market window – slows to a halt and by the end of October the rush is over. By this time people have either found or given up the hunt.
So next time you see a headline in August saying how quiet the property market is or in September when there is an ‘unexpected surge, I hope I may have given you a new perspective as to why that might be.