When is a Good Time to Sell?

It’s a big decision to sell your property. So just when is the best time to list your home? Is summer better than winter? Is it best to wait until the holidays are over? Do you wait for economic indicators to improve?

There are many issues to consider, but here are some pointers on what to look at.

Firstly, consider your timing. By when do you need to move? You should allow 2-4 months to sell and a further 2-3 months for transfer. Sure – You may sell in the first week, but it’s best to allow for a few months. So give yourself a clear 4-6 months between when you list and when you need to move.

If your timing is flexible, the next issue to consider is when buyer interest will be at its strongest. Historically this use to be in the warmer summer months. However, in recent times the economic climate has been far more important than the actual weather. You should be looking for the stable market without any hint of panic.

Consider the current local market for example: Buyer demand is still strong but economic pressures are starting to impact the affordability of buyers. In other parts of the buyers. In other parts of the country markets are flat or even dropping off. Because demand for property locally is still very strong, we’ve enjoyed good growth in property values.

That said, there are no guarantees this won’t change. The only thing certain about the world we live in today is that it’s unpredictable. Just look at so9me of the significant political surprises in both the UK and the USA. When you consider how fragile our own local political and economic environments are, you’d have to agree that just about anything can happen at any time.

The Rand weakened by almost 10% against the major currencies in just two days last week. If that trend continues it may well lead to interest rates increasing. Add to that a possible downgrade to ‘Junk Status’ – And it would be hard to avoid a weakening Rand and increased interest rates.

That has a direct impact on consumers. Don’t think it won’t affect their ability to purchase your property. The reality is though, No one knows what will happen tomorrow.

In that case, I’d have to say that if you are thinking of selling at any time in the next 6-9 months, you should consider listing now, in a calm and stable market. You don’t want to be listed at the time the market changes and dozens of other sellers flood the market with competing stock.

Bear in mind it takes some time to prepare your property for sale, and to get all the marketing ready to roll. It often happens that there is a flood of new listings on the market after the December school holidays. Do you really want to compete with them? Beat the rush and get the ball rolling well in advance, while markets are stable and calm.

Steve Caradoc-Davies
Principal of Harcourts Platinum

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