I had a homeowner from Allington Garden email me the other day. She said she had been following my blog for a while and wanted to pick my brain on when is the best time of the year to sell a property. Trying to calculate the best time to put your Boston property on the market can often seem something akin to witchcraft and, whilst I would agree that there are particular times of the year that can prove more productive than others, there are plenty of factors that need to be taken into consideration.
Even if you are putting your property on the market, you don’t know how long it will take to find a buyer – no crystal ball to help with that one. At the moment, the latest set of figures for all 14 estate agents in Boston, show the average length of time it takes to find a buyer for any Boston property is as follows:
Detached 147 days
Semi 99 days
Terraced 160 days
Flat 155 days
Overall average 137 days
If we roll the clock back to January 2016, the overall average time it took to find a buyer (again using data from all of the 14 Boston Estate Agents) was 163 days.
So, on the face of it, things have vastly improved over the last six months or so. Well, when I looked at the data going back to 2009, and every Spring since then, the average length of time it takes to sell a property drops between January and the Summer months, for it to rise on the run up to Christmas. For example:
Winter 2009 – 211 days Summer 2009 – 199 days
and in more recent times …
Winter 2013 – 218 days Summer 2013 – 198 days
Winter 2014 – 163 days Summer 2014 – 158 days
Winter 2015 – 161 days Summer 2015 – 148 days
Coming back to the present, even if you placed your property on the market today in Boston, if it takes you on average a little over nineteen weeks to find a buyer, then you can expect solicitors and the chain to take an additional eight and twelve weeks after that, before you move. It comes down to personal choice as to when you place your property on the market. Children often affect the decision. On one side you might delay putting that for sale board in your front garden so you can move in the summer school holidays, but on the other side, you might want to move sooner to be in the catchment area of a preferred school, in plenty of time for the next academic year?
There are times of the year when it’s better to sell, and times when waiting a little longer can pay off in the long run. In a nutshell, I would say this is the way of the seasons ..
Spring: Customarily there are more house-buyers as the Daffodils show themselves
Summer: Sellers may miss out on house-buyers being on holiday
Autumn: The enthusiasm for buying homes returns
Winter: Interest diminishes as festive period looms
What this means to buyers and landlord investors is that they often pick up a bargain in later months of the year, as there is less competition from owner occupiers. So, whilst there are better months to achieve a quicker sale, the only piece of advice I can give to every home- owner and landlord in Boston, is do the right thing for yourself, do your homework and buy (and sell) with both your head as well as your heart.