Seasonality In Selling – Is it Good Or Bad To Sell Property In Winter?

May 30, 2016
selling an investment property

Your family home or your investment properties for that matter are likely to be the biggest assets you’ll ever own, so you naturally want to maximise your profits when you sell.

This means you need to plan your property sale strategically – which means taking into account the ‘seasonality factor’.

“The standard belief being that spring is the best time to sell a property, because that’s when everyone is out and about looking for their new home.

The reality is, yes, spring does bring out the buyers – but it also brings out the sellers, which means more competition for your home, often leading to a lower price,” explains buyer’s agent Peter Sarmas, director of Street Advocate.

“We are constantly seeing vendors selling their homes at the wrong time and often we are buying these properties at heavily discounted prices after auction.”

The ideal months to sell your home

When considering the best time to place your property on the market, the weather is one factor to consider.

The more important point to mull over is competition, however, because the ideal time to list is when there is low supply of the type of property you’re selling.

“In Melbourne, we continually see strong property prices achieved for the month of May and August, because of the stable weather and lack of supply,” Peter says.

“School holidays and festive events like Christmas and Easter are periods on the calendar where you should also steer away from if selling. November and December traditionally have been terrible months to sell, because there is usually so much stock on the market and buyers have too much choice, leading to a fall in price.”

For instance, for the last two years running, vendors have staged more than 1,000 property auctions every week in the 12 weeks leading up to Christmas.

“These sorts of numbers mean buyers have choice and can be very discerning with their purchase,” Peter says. As a vendor, that is the last environment you want to create, so steer clear of summer and aim to list your property in the autumn or winter months.

When is the best month to buy?

For Peter and his vendors, his mantra is simple: to minimise competition and gain the maximum sale price, list your property for sale in May or August.

When you’re buying, however, you’re best to shop around in the spring, because the market will be flooded with stock. You may have to contend with some competition from other buyers, but with a glut of properties to choose from, you won’t need to look far for a substitute.

“Some vendors will already be committed to a sale and will be forced to put their property on the market in spring, or they might be ill-advised by a real estate to sell around big sporting finals, like the AFL or the Melbourne Cup,” Peter adds.

“The ideal scenario if you are looking to upgrade or downsize in the same market is to sell a home when demand and supply is tight and buy when the supply increases.”

Sarah Megginson

Sarah is an experienced author, journalist and editor specialising in writing about business, property, travel and parenting. She has been a contributor to a diverse number of publications, including Mortgage Professional Australia.

The information in this article is general information only and does not constitute financial or legal advice.  This does not take into account your personal circumstances and accordingly you should seek independent financial and legal advice before taking any action, or refraining from taking any action in reliance on any information contained in this article. 

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