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When is the best time of year to sell a house?

There’s been a lot written about the ins and outs of the property market and if there is a best time of year to put your house up for sale. If you’re able to treat your property like an investment and sell when market conditions are most favourable, then good for you. However, when it comes to selling a home, the timing is often a factor of personal circumstances rather than the wider market.

That said, there are seasonal fluctuations in the housing market that have withstood the test of time for many decades. Being aware of this cycle can certainly be useful if you’re able to time your sale to coincide with peaks in demand and make the most of the opportunity. Let’s run through the main peaks and troughs in the year now.

New Year

Buyer activity generally picks up after the Christmas holidays, with January seen as a good time for a fresh start by many home buyers. Those who start house hunting in the New Year tend to be at the beginning of the journey and may take several months before they’re able to make a decision on a property.


Spurred on by the enthusiasm early in the year, March/April/May is the most popular time to buy and sell property. It’s when homes and gardens look their most attractive, and there’s a realistically achievable timeline to making an offer and having it accepted, and be moving house in the summer. The Easter holidays often acts as a catalyst, giving homebuyers more time to view, consider their options and make a decision.


After June, market search activity tends to slow down as people’s attention turns to the summer holidays. That said, this is a busier time for contract exchanges and completions for home buying processes that were started in the spring, as buyers are now pushing to be settled in their new home ready for schools restarting in September.


September through to early November sees another peak in house buying activity. With summer out of the way and everyone getting back to their regular work routine, the search for a new home is front of mind again and begins with renewed vigour. This is the window to find a new home and be in by Christmas.


After mid-November, Christmas looms large on the horizon and house hunters typically become more preoccupied with festive preparations. With buyer motivation decreasing at this time of year, and properties showing less favourably in the winter light, it’s a poor time to try to sell except for savvy buyers looking for bargain prices from distressed sellers.

Timing your sale and purchase

In addition to seasonal peaks and troughs in housing market activity, you also need to work to your own schedule. Assuming you’re having to sell your existing home in order to buy your next home, both transactions will be inextricably linked and the timing must be exactly aligned. This applies to your financing arrangements as well as all practical arrangements. In effect, putting your property on the market must happen in parallel with your search for a new home.

Before you start marketing your property, speak to an experienced local estate agent to find out realistic timescales for a successful sale, along with achievable price projections. Also try to get a feel for which properties tend to sell faster.

Finally, take a dispassionate look at the condition of your property for sale to see if any building defects might need attention before putting the house or flat on the market. A proactive approach to presenting your property in the best possible condition is the best way not to get caught out by a buyer’s survey findings further down the line!

Contact us

At Cosey Homes, we’ve been inspecting properties for sale for many years, offering the full range of RICS home surveys and residential valuations, specific structural inspections and commercial surveys. To find out more about we can help with your home buying journey, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our expert team of Chartered Surveyors.

UK Wide Chartered Surveyors
UK Wide Chartered Surveyors
Cosey Homes offer the full range RICS home surveys from Level 1 - 3 with national coverage provided by our experienced local property surveying team.
DISCLAIMER: This article is for general information only and not intended as advice. Each property has its own set of unique circumstances, all potential issues should be investigated by a surveyor on a case by case basis before making any decision.