March 17 is the best day in 2018 for you to list your home to get a sale, according to research from an online estate agent.
Online estate agency Emoov combined transaction data with the average number of days to sell a property and concluded that mid-March is the best time of the year to put a property up for sale.
We explore how this varies from city to city and explain the steps you need to take to ensure a quick and profitable sale.
Average time to sell a property
To reach the March 17 date, Emoov identified the month in 2017 that saw the highest number of transactions – June – and then worked backwards, subtracting the average number of days that it takes for a UK property to go under offer (96, according to Post Office data).
The research also revealed some more localised trends, as the amount of time it takes for an offer to be accepted on a property varies by as much as 51 days between cities – and the 2017 month with the highest number of transactions also varied from area to area.
|City||Average time to sell||Highest month for transactions (2017)||Best day to put on the market|
|Manchester||71||June/August||5 April/5 June|
Preparing to sell your property
If you’re planning to put your house or flat on the market, there are some key steps you can take to get yourself and your home into the best position for a quick sale.
- Declutter and get an honest friend to give their opinion of how your home will look to a prospective buyer – you’d be surprised how easily it is to become blind to your property’s flaws.
- Get your paperwork in order – documentation covering work you’ve had done to the house, eg building regulation and electrical certificates, buildings insurance, and an energy performance certificate will all be needed further down the line so it will speed things up if you’ve already tracked them down.
- Find a solicitor – conveyancing can be the lengthiest part of the home-moving process, so try and find a firm with a good reputation and the availability to move things along quickly.
- Speak to a mortgage adviser– having a good idea of how much you can borrow for your next property will enable you to hit the ground running when you start house-hunting.
For more advice, check out our guide on how to sell a house.
Finding the best estate agent
The estate agent you choose will make a big difference to how quickly your property sells – and how much you get for it.
The first step is to research local agents and find the firms most likely to be able to help based on who has sold local properties like yours recently.
Once you’ve got a feel for the local market, invite three agents to come and value your home.
This is a really important part of the process, as not only will it enable you to find out roughly how much your house is worth, but it will also enable you to interview each agent and understand what they would do to help sell your property.
Our estate agents checklist outlines the key questions to ask.
Don’t just go with the agent that gives you the highest valuation: some companies use this as a tactic to win business. It can be a good idea to combine the average valuation you receive with recent local selling prices (which you can check on sites such as Zoopla and MousePrice).
Fees are a major consideration, especially as most high street agents charge a percentage of the sale price (the average is around 1.3%) – so this can run to thousands of pounds. Some agents will allow you to negotiate, while online estate agents will often offer lower fees for a more stripped-back service.
Once you’ve found an agent that you’re happy with, make sure you read the contract thoroughly and watch out for long tie-in or notice periods. Again, you can negotiate on these terms – don’t sign unless you’re completely happy with the arrangement.
- We’ve teamed up with Get Agent, a service that lets you compare estate agents in your area based on how many properties they’ve sold, the average time it takes them to achieve a sale, how much of the asking price they achieve and the fees they charge. Use our tool to compare estate agents.
Achieving a sale
Once your property is on the market, be as accommodating as possible to potential buyers.
Most estate agents say it’s best if you can make yourself scarce during viewings, as buyers will feel more comfortable asking questions and spending a decent amount of time looking around.
If the estate agent passes on any queries from people who are interested in your property, make sure you answer promptly and honestly.
When the all-important offer comes in, consider the buyer’s situation as well as the amount they’re offering – particularly if you have more than one party interested in buying.
- You can find out more about in our guide to selling a house.