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Study: The Best Time to Sell your House (Day & Month Revealed)

A study of the best time to sell your house, revealing the best days, months and seasons

The stats have been analysed and the results are here:

The best time to sell your house is during May, on a Sunday & even faster if it's located in the Midlands or Scotland.Click To Tweet

Actually, in general we are going through some hairy times when it comes to selling your property (things like Brexit, supply & demand and the type of property are all factors), let’s take a look at the cold hard facts surrounding the house selling market today…

  1. The 4 key factors that influence your house sale
  2. The Best Season to Sell your House
  3. Why you’re likely overestimating how long it takes to sell
  4. The best month to sell your house
  5. The best day to sell a house
  6. Which type of property sells faster than others?
  7. The Current financial climate
  8. Supply & demand
  9. Final verdict: When is the Best time to Sell your Property in the UK?



4 Key Factors that Influence a House Sale


4 factors that could cause the price of your house to change


Every house sale will usually have to deal with external factors out of their control (sometimes they can even work in your favor).

Despite the fact that no matter when you walk through their door, every estate agent in the country will tell you that “now is a great time to sell,” there are many aspects that have a very real impact on the amount of time it takes to complete the deal and the final selling price.

These include 4 key factors and they are:

  • The season, month or even day that you put your house on the market.
  • The location of the property.
  • The type of property.
  • Supply & demand, financial climate & other reasons

While house sellers can’t alter events such as political chest-beating, general elections, prorogation or the strength of the pound, what they can do is identify the best time of the year to put their house up for sale. This can be divided into the seasons and months that have historically delivered more house sales and bring about a higher final sale price. In fact, we can even drill this down to certain days of the week when a more favourable outcome is likely.


The Best Season to Sell your House


The research shows the best season to sell your house is agreed by pretty much every source to be in the spring. According to the Home Owners Alliance this is most likely because most people aren’t yet to head away for their summer break, Christmas is a long-forgotten event and, with the sun shining and Mother Nature at her most flamboyant, homes and gardens generally tend to look their best.

The other seasons fluctuations break down as follows:

  • Summer has historically been a quiet time when it comes to house sales. Many people are on holiday plus the kids are at home. This leads to many tasks – such as house hunting – being put on hold until there’s more time to dedicate to a huge undertaking, such as finding that ideal property.
  • Autumn is the second most favourable season to sell, with weather generally being good and therefore showcasing a house at its best, the kids back at school and the expense of Christmas not yet rearing its ominous head.
  • Winter is another ‘off’ season when it comes to house sales. The weather’s poor, pre and post-Christmas mean people are cash and time short, and the shortest days of the year mean that there’s less time to get all those vital daylight chores completed (including going to look at property).

A chart detailing the best and worst months of the year to sell your house in


Why you’re likely overestimating how long it takes to sell

We know the best time to sell your house is during the spring and summer time. We also know from the graphic above the worst months to sell a house in the UK. Furthermore, thanks to some interesting data released by online property giants Zoopla we also know the average amount of days it takes a house to go under offer.

From the data we have also discovered over half of all Brits overestimate the amount of time it takes to sell a property. In data carried out by the online property sales giant it shows that while most think it’ll take over two months to receive an acceptable offer, the actual figure is averaging just 50 days.


how long homeowners think their property will take to sell


The Best Month to Sell your House


Online property portal, Right Move, has gone one step further than determining the best season to sell, and narrowed it down to a month-by-month basis. Taking data from their own property listings they determined the optimum months to put your house on the market making it even easier to determine the best time to sell a house in the UK in 2019.


a chart detailing the average time in days from monday to friday a house takes to sell


The Best Day to Sell a House


Consumers’ Association, Which, took this timing one step further, looking at whether the day of the week a property’s listed has any effect. And, after analysing data recorded from HM Land Registry, it appears that it does.

The best day is Monday, with properties taking an average of 176 days to go from entering the marketplace to completion. But Sunday listings take an average of 213 days to complete the sale. It appears that as each day of the week passes there’s a significant effect on the length of time it takes to sell a home.


A chart containing data of the best day of the week to sell your house in


Which property types sell faster than others?


Of course, we can’t simply take the time of year as the only factor that determines a quick house sale. We need to add into the mix the type of property – be it a family home, a first-time-buyer property, as well as that of retirement homes and bungalows.

Best time to sell a starter home: For 1 & 2 bed houses, flats and apartments it seems that the best months for sales are January, February and September. This, of course, seems to fly in complete contrast to the data listed earlier about best months to sell. The reason for this is solely down to your  audience, which is going to be those looking to buy their first home, such as young professionals and couples.

  • September features highly because this target market has returned from their summer break and wants to buy a property and complete before Christmas.
  • January and February are key months thanks to a ‘new year – new start’ philosophy.

Best time to sell a family home: Family properties, in other words, 3-4 bed homes, are in demand for those with very different priorities (and responsibilities) than the first time buyer. The major issue when it comes to dedicating time to a serious property search is:

  • When are the school holidays? Because, let’s face it, house hunting is time consuming, relentless, and – with kids in tow – distinctly unappealing. So if you have a family home to sell, then avoiding the summer, Easter and Christmas holidays are key factors to consider when it comes to clinching a fast house sale.

Best time to sell a retirement home/bungalow: Retirement homes and bungalows, on the other hand, attract a very different type of buyer. This older, generally down-sizing, target market has progeny that’ve flown the nest, more time on their hands and are less prone to making snap decisions.

    • The best time to sell this type of home is during the warmest months, in other words, June to September

  • The colder months, darker months of the year will see this audience happily hunker down, leaving the house hunt for when the weather’s likely to be more conducive to days out looking for that perfect retirement property.

The Current Financial Climate


OK, so let’s get this elephant in the room out in the open once and for all. Yes, we live in ‘interesting’ times. And yes, the property market is currently experiencing a severe case of the jitters. However, according to the latest government land registry data, house prices have risen by 0.9% on the previous year.

Data from various sources provided by Which show that since the Brexit vote in 2016 the markets have slowed, yet continue to ebb and flow in a similar way to the expected yearly pattern.

While Brexit is undoubtedly having an effect, it’s impossible to determine by exactly how much. Some experts say that the slowdown is a much needed market correction to the burgeoning prices, and one that will certainly help potential first time buyers get their first foot on the ladder.


Property expert, Kate Faulkner, of propertychecklists.co.uk says:

We’ve definitely seen a stagnation in the market over the last year in areas such as London, the South and East (which had all overheated), and this slowdown has spread to other areas over the last few months.

I don’t think buyers should be put off by fears of a house price crash as long as they mitigate the risks. If you bought a property now, even if it did drop in value in the short term, the market would probably have corrected itself by the time you wanted to move (assuming you stayed there for at least five years)


If you look at the actual numbers of UK house sale figures before and after the EU referendum it’s clear that, nationwide, not much has changed – although those in England have been more volatile. (N.B. The spike in the graph represents a rush of investors ensuring sales were complete before the 3% buy-to-let stamp duty was introduced in April 2016).


UK house sale figures month by month




So while we do, of course, need to consider current events as a contributory factor as to when is the best time to sell your house, what actually determines the average amount of time it takes for a property to change hands are the general cyclical effects that we can now look at in greater detail.


Supply & Demand


The housing market, of course, is not immune from the effect of supply and demand. Russell Galley, Managing Director of the country’s largest mortgage lender, The Halifax, said that:


There is no doubt that the next year will be important for the housing market with much of the immediate focus on what impact Brexit may have. However, more fundamentally it is key underlying factors of supply and demand that will ultimately shape the market

The fact that relatively few properties have been put on the market in recent times, combined with continuing low mortgage rates and (finally) some growth in wages has been a key factor in maintaining house prices over recent times.


uk house prices from 2013 to 2019


Worries about Brexit et al. will have some effect, but the key point is that, right now, supply is still continuing to outstrip demand. This is partly because of the very real effect of the withdrawal of small and medium size house builders who went out of business following the mid 1990s housing crash. Whilst this might seem a long time ago, the implications are still being felt today. Those small companies (< 100 houses per annum) were key in matching supply and demand in regional areas of the country.

Between 2007–2014 the numbers of these builders fell dramatically ( to less than 3,000 from a peak of 12,000). And despite the introduction of measures by the government to incentivise their return, it’s only now that we’re starting to see small signs that this is beginning to bear fruit. Hence the current situation of demand still being far greater than supply.


Other Considerations


Other key issues to take factor in when selling your house would be that of any major works in the vicinity. Let’s face it, getting caught up in a 3-way traffic light rush hour disaster outside a property will put anyone off. So be sure to find out if there’s any such works in the pipeline.

These can be searched on the www.gov.uk and would include those such as the building of new roads and major construction projects.


Reasons for Selling your House ‘Out of Peak’ Season


Of course, even taking all of the above into consideration, life doesn’t always align to allow putting your property on the market at the time experts consider to be the ‘best’.

Sometimes, you need to sell your house, and sell it fast, whatever the time of year.

But don’t despair, because house sales outside of the peak selling times come with a unique set of advantages. Such as

  1. Most other people are playing the strategy game, meaning there are less properties on the market. This equals less competition for you.
  2. The buyers out there are likely to be less ‘tyre kickers’ and more those with the means and funds ready to make a deal.
  3. All the professional services (solicitors, surveyors etc.) are less busy, so transactions are generally smoother and faster.



Final verdict: When is the Best time to Sell your Property in the UK?


On paper, generally speaking: The best time to sell your house is during May, on a Sunday & and it’s more likely to sell faster if located in the Scotland or the Midlands.

However, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to determining the best time to sell your house. Yes, we can say that more houses sell at a particular time (spring) but when it comes down to it, there are house buyers searching for properties at all times of the year. And you only need one for a successful sale!

Of course, personal circumstances often determine how fast you need a deal to go through. The rise of house buying companies has been one such answer, providing a quick process that can, in most cases, complete a sale within 7-14 days. This might not be a scenario to suit everyone, but a reputable, Property Ombudsman (TPOS) and National Association of Property Buyers registered company with positive reviews could be the answer for a quick sale.

In short, unless there’s a pressing need to sell, then yes – determine the optimal time to put your house on the market and the factors that are relevant to your property type. A strategic approach – no matter what the time of year or financial climate – will end in success. And then? Well, you’ve got the fun of the move to look forward to, Good luck!


Now it’s your turn – when do you think is the best time to sell? We’d love to hear from you – post your thoughts in the comments section below.

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4 Comments

  1. Kaz says:

    A nice complete answer here with useful charts, I wish my estate agent had given such a good answer and I could have put my property on the market at a better time!

  2. Mike says:

    Really useful information especially the charts etc…should be planning my holidays around this I guess to enhance the chances of selling. Agents just tell you what you want to hear for sure! I have had my house on the market for over 6 months and reduced the price twice and eventually got an offer…but then fell through. If the agent had priced it right in the first place I probably would have not been on the market for months!

  3. Sam Davison says:

    I assumed before reading spring/summer would be the best time to sell but it’s great to get a very specific time frame backed by data. Good stuff!

  4. Frustrated House Owner says:

    The internet has made it easy for Buyers to make comparisons and drive the Sellers’ prices down, especially at this time. The Agents tell you that you have had thousands of viewers on the marketing graphs, so why do you only receive two per cent of this total in viewings! Our House is a beautiful detached four bedroom two bathroom family house with solar panels. On our third agent now and still few viewers. These Agents do not have an answer.

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