Buying and selling

Judging the best time to buy or sell a house can be akin to awaiting a significant cosmological event; everything has to align. A sudden drop in housing market prices and changes in interest rates can provide room for improved profits but also create significant losses. The downside of selling a property in a less advantageous season must be balanced against the possibility of missing the perfect property you've just found.

When to buy

While some people won't want to begin buying a property before their goal down payment amount is in place, others may be willing to set this aside for a great deal, such as if you unexpectedly see a second home that really suits you. For the latter buyer there are options. If you find your dream house or want to take advantage of a good market state before you’d planned, you might have to get Private Mortgage Insurance. This will mean an additional monthly payment on top of your mortgage repayments, but the overall return can be worth it.

However, there’s no cause to jump on fantastic interest rates if you’re buying a property that constitutes a compromise. Even if you’re only buying it to renovate and pass on quickly, you should carefully consider your original list of ‘must haves’.

If you’re purchasing a home, rather than simply a financial asset, this pre-purchase list is even more important. The golden time for buying property is, of course, when advantageous market conditions align with both the right house and your positive financial state.

When to sell

Similarly, sellers can be tempted to jump on peaks in the property market or rush to get their house marketed in time for one of the better selling seasons. Traditionally spring is a good time of year to sell, with your garden in full bloom and people getting their business heads on after Christmas. Autumn can also be a great time to sell, as buyers want to get settled pre-holidays and they may not have found what they were looking for in spring.

Just as with buying, it’s important you don’t rush into selling your property just because you feel the market is right. Your home needs to be ready too or it’ll be harder to sell, and if you do get a buyer, you need to be prepared to move out before they decide against the sale. If you end up having to drop your price or put your home on the market several seasons in a row because you rushed at the start, people will be wary of your property. An expert estate agent can guide you on the local highs and lows, as well as specifics for getting your property ready to sell.

Where next?

Are you ready to start making adjustments to your home to sell? Or perhaps you’re curious about home staging? If you're buying property you'll want to prepare for viewings, or find out what costs you can realistically expect for your first home purchase. Take a look through our specialised articles on selling and buying property for more tips on when to start, how best to ensure a successful transaction and what professional help you’ll need.

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