A great question I have been asked is does the time of year make any difference to buying and selling in property?
Well, you would think that it shouldn’t, but it does.
Two of the best times to buy if you are an investor is around Christmas time,(this includes the run up to Christmas and just after Christmas), and summer.
Why? Because most people switch off over Christmas.
One of the things that frustrates me greatly, getting into a bit of a rant here, is that there is about a week or two weeks in the run up to Christmas, there is Christmas week and then New Year, then everybody comes back to work and it takes them about another week to get back into it. Everything just shuts down, doesn’t it?
If you are trying to do business in that time it can be very frustrating, but if you want to buy that can be a great time to buy.
The run up to Christmas, because nobody else is thinking about buying which means that you are probably one of the few people out there who the estate agents are going to see. So you can start making offers knowing that, probably, there are not going to be very many competitive offers coming in which are going to distract the vendor from considering your offer.
After the New Year is usually a great time to buy as well, particularly if you are doing direct to vendor marketing.
Why? Because, sadly, Christmas is one those periods of the year which highlights strains between couples.
I know this sounds really sad, and I am not trying to suggest that we take advantage of people when they are having a bad time, but it’s just the reality of life that apparently a lot of people decide to get divorced straight after the New Year. If they want to split up and they are looking to sell quickly because they can’t abide the sight of each other anymore, you could be in a position to help them to sell.
When else would we buy? During the summer, everybody is thinking about their summer holidays, so again there is tumble weed blowing through estate agents offices because there aren’t the buyers out there.
So summer can also be a great time. You can get a lot of personal attention and personal service from estate agents, taking you out to see all sorts of properties and there won’t be that many other bids or offers coming in which they will have to consider. Yours may be the only offer on the table in August.
If I was selling, of course, I wouldn’t go for those two times of year.
When would I sell? I would probably sell in the spring, by that I mean probably around April time. Easter is generally accepted as being when the property market picks up each year, so if I was going to sell I would probably want to time a sale around Easter.
If I couldn’t put it on the market over Easter then I would probably choose September. Why? Because that’s when the schools come back, everybody’s come back from their summer holiday and they’re thinking about their future lives and they’re thinking about property again.
So, those would be the four main times. If I’m buying then it’s Christmas and Summer, and if I’m selling then it’s Easter and early autumn.
Peter Jones B.Sc FRICS
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