Evaluating the Optimal Time to Sell Your Property
Estate agents will often say that spring is the best time to sell your property – but several other factors affect the speed with which you sell and your prospects of achieving a favourable offer.
While seasonality is one consideration, it is also important to understand the supply and demand within the local property market and review the property type and how that impacts the potential sales climate.
Let us explain some of the elements to be aware of and why they may affect the ideal time to list a West Sussex property.
Selling a Property in West Sussex
One of the first things to note is that demand in West Sussex can perform differently from UK averages.
We have published previous guides about popular locations such as Midhurst, West Wittering, Lavant and Petworth with further information regarding demand.
If you wish to sell a home in these areas, you will find that demand is consistently very high, and it is unlikely you will ever list a property for sale that stagnates for several months.
However, strategic listings can improve the potential for receiving offers above your listing price, even if you have factored demand and exclusivity into the equation.
The best time to sell any property is when there is an active buyer audience looking to purchase and a scarcity of competing listings; this inevitably means that a homebuyer will be prepared to offer more rather than risk losing out on a rare opportunity.
You can assess general demand by filtering a Propertymark Housing Report, but this is nationally focused.
It is far better to discuss your proposed listing with a specialist local team like Tod Anstee, with knowledge and insights into immediate demand.
Choosing Optimal Selling Periods by Property Type
The next criteria to consider is the type of property you are selling because appetite varies between first-time buyers, property investors and other buyer categories.
As an indication:
- Smaller homes and apartments tend to sell fastest, and for the highest prices, in January-February and September. Target buyers are usually first-time buyers or younger couples who often house hunt after the summer holidays or in the New Year.
- Family properties, usually advertised to second or third-time buyers, often sell well outside of the school holidays, when buyers have more time to review listings and arrange viewings. Listing a family home during school holidays can dilute the buying pool.
- Retirement accommodation often achieves a better price in the summer period from June to September. Retirees are most likely to be looking for a bungalow or comfortable new-build that requires minimal upkeep.
Of course, external factors such as the Stamp Duty holiday can skew those seasonal trends, so we don’t recommend following these indications as the sole decision-making factor.
Few buyers are keen to move over the Christmas period.
Still, it isn’t always a given that an exchange of contracts in September will lead to completion before December, so the nature of each property, and the chain involved, may be more influential than the time you decide to list your home for sale.
Property Market Predictions
While demand may be stable in most parts of West Sussex, the uptick in property values following surging demand post-pandemic has undoubtedly boosted selling prices further.
A Which? report indicates that prices will plateau over the months ahead but that demand will continue to outstrip supply by a considerable margin.
As a few statistics that illustrate the current position:
- Average property values climbed by 12.8% in the year to May 2022.
- Current demand has meant that 90% of prospective buyers have experienced a lack of availability for their chosen property type in their desired area.
- The monthly listings by Propertymark members this year have been around half the averages for previous periods.
- Sales are taking an average of 32 days, a week faster than 12 months ago.
Although price growth is forecast to slow down, and economists disagree, all expect house values to increase by between 3% and 5% of their value in the second half of 2022.
In 2023, those forecasts sit at around 1%, indicating a continued but modest ongoing appreciation.
When Is the Right Time to Sell a West Sussex Property?
The best time to list a home for sale is wholly dependent on the reasons for selling and whether you need to prioritise a fast transaction at a reasonable price or wish to secure the highest possible sale value.
Property owners looking to sell quickly are usually advised to list their residences as soon as they are ready to proceed, rather than delaying based on the potential for a slightly better price.
However, the difference between key selling periods may be minimal, particularly if you are listing a property in an exclusive West Sussex town where demand routinely exceeds supply many times over.
Tod Anstee sales often have waiting lists of potential buyers interested in properties as soon as they come onto the market. This factor precludes most of the general advice about selling in spring or early summer.
We can also liaise with interested parties directly to organise viewings without disrupting busy schedules.
The Importance of West Sussex Property Sales Expertise
The key to achieving a secure sale at an advantageous price remains to work with an adept local agent with comprehensive knowledge about the region, your immediate area, and the type of buyers waiting for opportunities to relocate.
A professional approach, proactive marketing strategy and skilled agent will make a more notable impact on your selling experience, and the price you achieve, than listing in a particular month.
For further advice about structuring your property listing details, setting a selling price, or re-listing a home that hasn’t sold as quickly as you would have liked, please get in touch at your convenience.
The Tod Anstee team has vast expertise selling all kinds of West Sussex homes, from luxury family estates to modern apartments, and will steer you through the process to completion.