When Should I Sell?

Many property owners who are contemplating selling wonder when the best time is to list.

Traditionally, the in Western Cape, the thought was long held that the best time to sell is the summer months. And, for the most part, this was correct.

After all, when the weather is freezing cold and it’s pouring with rain, who really wants to look at properties and move? It’s also not the time of year when our homes are looking their best. Gardens may be looking rather bleak and swimming pools aren’t sparkling or looking that inviting.

And so, in a conventional real estate market it was true that, where possible, it was best to list in the summer months as the market was always more active and people were in the mood to buy.

But the world has changed. Yes it’ true – we are more in “the mood” to buy when the sun is shining. And our properties do look much better in summer. But the reality is there are global market forces at play that have a far greater impact on the salability of our properties, and the ability of a buyer to purchase.

A look at the global state of world economies will confirm this. Europe is in crisis. The newspapers are full articles confirming how volatile the European economy is. The economies of Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Ireland in in disarray and no one knows how to really “fix” things. If, or when, these economies do implode, the impact on the financial systems worldwide, including those in South Africa, will be significant.

Not to mention the situation in the USA. There is much positive talk coming from across the Atlantic, and house prices seem to be in the incline, for now. There is the small matter of a presidential election on the horizon. Long may it last!

The reality is that the best time to sell a property is now – if you need to sell, that is. Today the banks are happy to offer home finance, and the global financial system continues to function. Buyers still need homes. Interest rates are lower than they have been for nearly 40 years. And property prices have stabilized.

So why wait? Who knows what next month or next year brings? It may be a very different situation, or it may not. One thing most economists agree on is that there will be no significant increase in property values. Not for a while. So don’t wait for your market value to improve. It certainly won’t outpace inflation for a while – so say the experts.

“Carpe diem” – Seize the Day – so wrote Horace. There is no time like the present, and the future is uncertain. If you want to sell, then list now, and sell in a stable economy.

Many property owners have adopted this view, and recent sales at Harcourts Platinum confirm that the winter months of May through to August have been particularly active, with record sales in May and July.

In addition to the reasons given above to go to the market today, is the fact that we just happen to be entering the warmer season as well. Bonus! Take advantage of this. So take action.

We have many reasons to be positive about the local property market. And who wouldn’t want to live in this most beautiful part of the country? Seize the day!

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