It’s been rubbish
The summer weather, I mean.
In particular those with school-age children will know. Pretty much from the day they broke up until the day they went back it was cold, rainy and sad. We had a decent June and early July but the whole of August was disappointing. Luckily I went on a sunny holiday to a house in the Andalusian mountains that we borrowed off a friend in exchange for promising to keep half an eye on their daughter during her 3 year art degree at ARU. Nice deal for us I’d say. I think they’re over-estimating how much supervision a 20 year old student will want. It was great. 10 days of perfect sunshine, the only variable was where between 32 and 36 degrees the temperature would be by 2pm. An ideal holiday climate for sure, but actually I think I’d soon get bored of that sort of weather day in day out, I really like the changing of the seasons.
As does the housing market. #cleversegue
It follows exactly the same straightforward pattern each year, but, snubbing Vivaldi and pizzerias everywhere, it follows three seasons rather than four, basically in line with our holiday periods. December is always quieter and we panic that the market will never come back, but by late-January we’re run off our feet and wishing we’d relaxed and enjoyed the quieter time. Good Friday weekend, which customers often think will be busy, is really quiet for viewings, then as soon as the Easter break is over it gets hectic again. Same again from August into September. The best analysis I can give is that this is driven by simple distraction – there’s too much happening during holiday periods many people to think about moving.
There’s an accepted wisdom that spring is the best time to sell a house and that’s sort of true – the post-Easter surge is usually the surgiest of the surges, but actually that can be bad as well as good. A surge in buyers is good, but a surge in sellers means more competition. If you’re buying on then more houses for sale is good, as you have more choice once you’re sold, but if you are just selling then it actually can make sense to market your house at a quieter time when there is little else available. Buyers do get a bit distracted over the holidays but not completely, they do keep looking, and if your house is the only one of its type for sale they’ll buy it. Anecdotally I’d say the ratio of active buyers to active sellers is pretty consistent through the year.
Some agents have an obsession with houses being photographed with blue skies, to the point that they add in perfect blue skies on otherwise dull, or even rainy pictures. It’s just not necessary. A good photo on a grey day is miles better than a botched photoshop that leaves buyers wondering what else the agent is faking.
That said, for certain types of house it is worth waiting until the better weather comes round. If you’re in a picture-perfect cottage down a winding country lane next to the village duck pond, it could be worth hanging on, but with period terrace with an open fireplace in the city centre the winter is just as good as the summer, or any other time.
Truth is, there are just so many variables that it’s impossible to be sure of the optimum time to sell, so our advice is to just do it when you feel ready. Don’t rush it or hold off because you think the market will improve or worsen, do what suits you and your timescales.