Thinking of selling your home? These are the times, months to avoid

Property trends indicate that some months and seasons are better for home sales. Picture: Hanyang Zhang/Unsplash

Property trends indicate that some months and seasons are better for home sales. Picture: Hanyang Zhang/Unsplash

Published Oct 3, 2023


If you are thinking of selling your home you may want to consider doing so in winter or spring, and, if possible, avoid putting it on the market in summer.

Your main consideration will, of course, be the state of the housing market at the time you want to sell, as well as interest rates and your personal situation, but if you have some flexibility, knowing how to time your sale could be beneficial.

Contrary to popular belief, winter is considered by some property experts to be the best time to sell your home because the market is less competitive at this time.

During this time of year, many buyers are also looking out for new schools for their children for the next academic year, and may need to relocate to be closer to these schools. People are also preparing for the summer holiday season, states ooba Home Loans.

“Those looking for properties with good schools nearby usually start looking this time of year so they have time to find and purchase a property before the next academic year begins. Buyers also want to be able to move into a new home before the summer season hits. This is especially the case with foreign buyers who want their holiday home ready for the holiday season.”

Harcourts South Africa believes that, with spring in full bloom, the market in the country is experiencing its annual seasonal awakening. In fact, chief executive Richard Gray says property listings typically increase by 15 percent to 20 percent during this season.

In addition, he says spring is a season where properties can show their full potential.

“Gardens are lush, and natural light is abundant, making homes look their most appealing. Sellers should capitalise on these aesthetic advantages.”

Although there is not really ‘the worst time’ to sell your home, if one has to choose a month, December would be it, ooba states.

“Summer is when most people take their vacations, so they’re less likely to spend that time house hunting.”

Home selling trends around the world

Again, while market trends and economic situations often dictate when you should sell or not sell your property, globally, there are some general trends that can be observed. It's essential to note, however, that these can vary by location as, in some areas, markets might not be as affected by seasonal changes or economic fluctuations.

Additionally, certain strategies, such as appropriately pricing your home, staging it effectively, and marketing it well, can mitigate the challenges associated with selling during less favourable times.

Nonetheless, here are some general trends across the globe:

1. Winter months

In many regions, winter can be a challenging time to sell a home. Cold weather can deter potential buyers. Also, properties might not look as appealing when lawns and gardens are barren.

This is probably why fewer people do sell in spring, but as ooba points out, there are some benefits to listing your home during this time.

2. Holiday seasons

The period around major holidays like Christmas and New Year can be difficult for sellers. People are often preoccupied with holiday plans and festivities, and the last thing on their minds might be buying a new home.

At the same time, though, depending on where you live, this season is often a time when many people who are considering relocating to their favourite holiday regions will use the opportunity to scout out potential properties for sale while enjoying their vacation.

3. Back-to-school period

In months when children are returning to school, families are often busy with preparations. This can make it a less favourable time to sell as parents might be too occupied to focus on house hunting.

Apart from seasons or months of the year, these are some other times when selling may not be the best idea:

4. Economic downturns

During times of economic uncertainty, such as a recession, people might delay making significant financial decisions, including buying a home. Economic factors can significantly impact the real estate market.

5. High-interest rate periods

When interest rates are high, borrowing money for a mortgage becomes more expensive. This can deter potential buyers, reducing the demand for homes.

That said, in South Africa, even though interest rates are still high, experts say this is a good time to buy a home as the rate peak appears to have been reached, meaning that it may start coming down next year. People who buy now while the rates are high can therefore look forward to lower monthly repayments in future months.

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