New year, new house – why January is a good time to put your house on the market
Spring is traditionally thought to be the best time to sell your house. Most of us like to get the Xmas festivities ‘out of the way’ before using the first few months of the new year to move ahead with future plans – including where we’ll be living.
With this in mind there can be significant benefits to putting your house on the market straight away in January.
January sees low supply and high demand in the housing market
It’s not uncommon for sellers to remove their home from the market when it starts to slow down around the end of October.
They simply don’t want the disruption of viewings over the festive period. Strangers wandering around the house when they just want to be curled up with a hot chocolate and their favourite Christmas movie is something they can do without. Much better to wait until spring.
But this means they choose the most popular time of year to remarket their property – meaning their home is just one among many. Making your property stand out from the crowd in spring is much harder than showcasing it in January.
Increased buyer intent
Of course, it’s just as cold and gloomy out for buyers in the winter months as it is for sellers. Which means fair weather buyers stay at home wondering how to make leftover turkey appealing for the eighteenth night in a row.
Those prepared to brave the elements in January are far more likely to be serious buyers looking to put in an offer and move in the near future.
It’s also the time when parents looking for a particular school catchment area are likely to be house hunting. They’ll want to make sure they’re settled in their new home well in time for applications early in the next academic year.
And there’s the added benefit that those simply browsing online in their new pyjamas will spot your property amid the small amount of competition, and become serious buyers for fear of missing out.
With a market of genuine buyers and the supply and demand ratio in your favour, the chances of selling at or very near your asking price are much higher.
Houses sell more quickly in January
The figures speak for themselves. The average time a house takes to sell in the summer months is 65 days. In recent years, houses have sold in as little as 56 days in January – with an average sale time of 60 days.
And remember, this is not just a quicker sale. It’s also potentially closer to your asking price than you might receive in the warmer months when buyers have so much more choice.
New Year, new home
Christmas is the one holiday each year when families tend to be together and stay at home. And with New Year just a week later, it’s the time to reflect on the past year and make plans for the future. Which frequently means a new home.
While December is typically a slow month for house sales, Boxing Day is the most popular day of the entire year for browsing properties online. Last year saw more than 40 million properties viewed online the day after Christmas. If nothing else, it’s a nice opportunity to play about on the new tablet.
Then there are the re-energised buyers who gave up in November but are now enthused by the promise of a new start. So, it’s easy to see why there is lots of potential based on the buyers desire to make the new year really count.
It’s a great way to show how energy efficient your home is
There’s nothing like shutting the door on the cold to make you appreciate the warmth of a home. If energy efficiency or sustainability are a key selling point for your property, January is the ideal time to showcase it.
We’ve already mentioned that you’re likely to achieve a higher price if you sell in January. And research by Halifax shows that properties with good EPC ratings can be worth on average up to £40,000 more than less sustainable homes.
More attention from the professionals can mean faster completion
With the housing market quieter in January, estate agents and mortgage brokers are less busy than they will be later in the year. The same goes for underwriters, surveyors, solicitors and everybody else involved in the transaction.
Which can mean a far speedier process for you that could see the keys handed over before some sellers have even picked up the phone to an estate agent in late March.