This article was first published on moneyhighstreet.com
Selling property often seems like an inhumane struggle against seasoned real estate experts and their special “insider” knowledge, but it doesn’t have to be! In fact, much of the process is down to common sense and it starts with putting your home on the market at the right time. By doing so, you can attract more buyers, shorten the time to make a sale and get a better price for your property.
What many people don’t know is that the property market functions according to two main cycles. The first one is a major and slower cycle like the earth rotating around the sun. These periods are marked by slumps and spikes in demand and supply, the most famous of which was the 2007 crash in the United States, that led to catastrophic financial consequences for people and businesses around the world. The UK is currently riding a positive growth wave that is distinguished by high levels of demand and falling supply (houses up for sale): this is what makes house prices grow.
However, just because the general trend is on an upswing doesn’t mean that everywhere in the UK is a great place to sell property all the time. For example, as of April 2016 the average house in the UK is £209,054 and had risen 8.2% since last year, but in Scotland, it is just £138,445 and increased by only 3.3% during the same period. Furthermore, if homes in London stay on the market for 43 days at the moment, it takes half a year to find a buyer for a place in Darlington, Co. Durham, according to new research by rightmove.co.uk.
The second cycle is like the earth’s seasons that are caused by our planet rotating on its axis. The weather changes and so do house prices, which is why statisticians use terms like “seasonally adjusted”. This basically means that there is a cold season and a hot season every year. Autumn and winter make up the cold season, which is characterized by lower demand from buyers. In response to falling interest, sellers react by withholding their home from the market. During this period, price growth tends to stagnate, even fall slightly, and sellers are often forced to negotiate a discount if they want to get the property off their hands.
On the other hand, the hot season is defined by much stronger buyer activity, faster price growth and shorter transaction times because the UK doesn’t really have enough homes to accommodate demand, leading buyers to compete more and bid higher. The hot season starts in spring and lasts throughout the summer as people emerge from winter hibernation. For sellers in peripheral markets like small towns and rural areas outside major metropolitan zones, it is better to plan ahead because homes are simply harder to sell. Seeing as it can take six months to find a buyer, it’s best to get the property on the market when spring commences. Use the winter period to paint, fix and declutter your home because it might take months to sell a house, but buyers make up their mind in just a few seconds.
Leigh Stewart — Tranio.com