I had a homeowner from Whiston email me the other day. She said she had been following this 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 Rotherham 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 16 estate agents in Rotherham, show the average length of time it takes to find a buyer for any Rotherham property is as follows:

Detached: 227 days
Semi: 223 days
Terraced: 191 days
Flat: 413 days
Overall average: 231 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 16 Rotherham Estate Agents) was 265 days.

So, on the face of it, things have improved between winter and summer over the last year.

In fact, 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 example:

Winter 2009 – 242 days          Summer 2009  – 236 days

and in more recent years:

Winter 2013 – 322 days          Summer 2013  – 303 days
Winter 2014 – 300 days          Summer 2014  – 280 days
Winter 2015 – 271 days          Summer 2015  – 239 days

You can see this information in the bar chart below:

Average days to find a buyer in Rotherham

Coming back to the present, even if you placed your property on the market today in Rotherham, if it takes you on average thirty three weeks to find a buyer you can also expect solicitors and the chain to take an additional eight and twelve weeks after that before you move.

Therefore, it comes down to personal choice as to when you place your property on the market.

Children can often impact 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 the number of house-buyers blossoms after the winter

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 can 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 Rotherham is to do the right thing for yourself. Do your homework and buy (and sell) with both your head as well as your heart.

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