With every headline reminding us of economic problems now and to come. It’s not surprising that you may be wondering when is the best time to sell a house. Or even considering delaying plans to sell or buy your next home.
My gut feeling is that it’s premature to put house moving plans on ice. No one is denying that soaring energy prices and still-rising inflation are serious. But figures from across the housing market suggest people are still very interested in buying and selling homes.
It’s still a strong market
In October alone – the latest figures from HM Revenue & Customs – a total of 110,850 homes were sold in the UK, which is 29% higher than October 2021 and 3% lower than September 2022 and prices are holding up very well.
Some people are inevitably nervous and feel that things may get worse before they get better. So, should you sell now and what should buyers and sellers do over the next. Say, six months to help fulfil their ambitions for a new home in 2023? Is now the best time to sell a house?
Sellers – make good use of any delay
We regularly share detailed tips about preparing a property for the market. But for sellers here are some quick wins to make the best of this delay.
Identify weak spots in your property and rectify them. Whether they involve simple DIY jobs or more substantial work, decluttering or freshening up that all-important kerb appeal. And remember that buyers will have energy efficiency in the front of their minds for some time to come so this area should be a high priority.
Double glazing, improved insulation or a new boiler could be achieved in a few months and would likely boost both the appeal and asking price of your home. There are also solar panels, but these will not add enough value to recover their cost in the short term.
Choose your estate agent wisely for a sale in early 2023. Consider getting the photographs of your home taken now when the sun is shining, and the garden is at its best. These will be much more appealing than images taken in the darker days late winter.
Buyers – don’t sit on your hands
Just because you’ve decided to wait does not mean you cannot work to help your purchase next year be easier, smoother, and more successful.
If you have a general location in mind, and you chose it during this long hot summer, make sure you visit during the worst weather and darkest days of winter. If you still love the area when the sun has long gone, you know you can proceed with confidence.
Get prepared – consider your budget once again, especially if you require a mortgage. You may have a house price in mind but factor in inflation – still in double figures for the next six months – and interest rates, which remain quite low by historic standards but are likely to rise further.
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.
It will be difficult to secure a mortgage-in-principle so far ahead of a purchase (lenders may change mortgage criteria between now and spring) but you can certainly work on your credit rating, which is a key factor in securing a loan. Check your credit score and if you need to work on improving your credit report.
Just as importantly, speak with estate agents in the area you want to buy. There will be sellers delaying their plans just as you have delayed yours – good agents with local branches will have an insight into what homes are coming to the market early in 2023.
Stay updated on housing market conditions
For buyers and sellers, it’s vital to keep across good reliable market information.
We provide monthly housing market updates direct from estate agents’ group Propertymark. We email this out to our subscribers every month so join thousands of others and stay updated.
The best way to stay up to date with your local housing market information give your Propertymark estate agent a call every few weeks. They can help with advising you when it is the best time to sell a house.
Property market data
Remember, housing market data and prices can vary sharply month to month and each housing market index will measure a different point in the housing cycle – such as asking prices when a home goes on the market, or sale prices when deals complete some months later. So, look for the broader trend: don’t decide based on a single figure from one month alone.
It may be easier said than done in the current climate but stay positive. Pessimistic predictions about the housing market in the pandemic proved to be wrong.
There’s every reason to believe your ideal move is just delayed not cancelled – and you can use the next few months to make it even better.
Last Updated: November 22nd, 2023