I’ve been told spring is the best time to sell my property. Is that really the case?
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Our property expert Simon Gerrard answers your questions about whether to try and sell your home in autumn
Many people who are thinking of selling might consider spring to be the prime time to come to market.
However the market has become increasingly less seasonal and now the autumn months can be just as busy as the spring.
The recent Halifax housing report shows that the average UK house price at August 2015 is nine per cent higher than in August 2014; while in London the figure stands at over 17 per cent. This increase is being fuelled by demand outstripping supply and the growth is underpinned by the continued economic recovery and low interest rates, together with a lack of supply of new housing.
The fact that interest rates are likely to rise in the medium term, may dampen house price growth, but is unlikely to materially affect demand. I believe we will see more stable and lower price growth, driven by local conditions. Indeed we are already seeing reports of a cooling down in the prime central London market, and the RICS are predicting an overall annual rise of six per cent for London by the end of 2015.
Despite some sellers believing the market stops in the autumn, with the nights beginning to draw in and the weather starting to deteriorate, this really couldn’t be further from the truth. People have returned from their holidays refreshed and the kids are back at school, so buyers are on the lookout again. The cannier will see that with less property coming to market, but just as many buyers looking, their property will receive greater interest and likely a better price.
You will find that a number of the buyers looking for a property in September and October will want to celebrate Christmas in their new home. So as a seller you will need to be certain you are able to move within this time scale if you are to attract these buyers.
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If you are planning to sell in the coming months there are a number of simple jobs you should take care of to enhance your property’s appeal.
First of all follow the age old adage of ‘de-clutter’. Whilst it is obvious that the property should be as clean and tidy as possible, you will be amazed at how many sellers overlook the importance of de-cluttering. Think of the things you don’t need or haven’t used for about six months, these will be ideal candidates for getting rid of or putting into storage. Make sure you carry out this process before your agent takes any internal photos. Nearly every buyer will carry out their initial property search online, so the way your property is presented by the agent online is very important.
Once a buyer has decided to view, the outside of your property has the biggest impact. At this time of year more than any make sure your front garden and paths are clean and clear of leaves. Check the roof and ridge tiles. Ensure the gutters and drain covers are properly cleared.
It’s important to make your property feel homely. If a viewing takes place during the day, as the days become darker, it is more important than ever to open all of the curtains and blinds to ensure as much natural light as possible enters the home. Making sure the doorway, entrance, stairs or porch are well lit and clear of clutter can help create an inviting warm home.
Replace worn or torn carpets. Clean or re-grout the bathroom tiles and replace any that are chipped or cracked, clean away any lime scale.
Smell is also important. Freshen up, let some fresh air circulate and the cliché of fresh bread or roasting coffee really does work.
Simon Gerrard is the managing director of Martyn Gerrad Estate Agents and a former president of the NAEA. Email your property questions for Simon firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @HamHighProperty