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Does seasonal selling exist and how can you use it to your advantage?

17th May 2016 Print

Insider tips and tricks that homeowners and estate agents use to sell properties can be flipped on their head and worked to your advantage when buying. Here’s how…

Spring and summer is selling season

The housing market is always in a constant state of flux, but one thing is certain – spring and summer will see an abundance of properties hit the market. Sellers choose to list their properties at this time of year because the days are longer (making viewing in daylight more possible than it is in winter) and gardens begin to bloom into life, making properties look more attractive to potential buyers. 

Grab a bargain in winter

Autumn and winter on the other hand (running from late September to mid March) is a notoriously difficult time sell because it’s punctuated with Christmas celebrations, new school years and a smaller pot of cash in January following festivities. Therefore, consider house hunting in autumn or winter to get a better deal.

With less property on offer, sellers can’t afford to be picky about their buyers. As a result, you’re more likely to be able negotiate a price that suits you. And, it’s worth considering the fact that a property listed on the market during the winter is likely to be so due to necessity: for whatever reason, the seller needs to move now, rather than wait for selling season. Take advantage of this, saving up to 10% of the purchase price of a house bought in January compared to a similar property in summer as you’re in a stronger position to negotiate.

Strike a good deal in summer

On the other hand, if you’d prefer to buy a house in spring or summer because there are simply more properties to choose from, you can do so with some clever forward planning. Spring is a good time to buy as sellers, estate agents and solicitors aren’t yet on their summer holidays. After all, there’s no point paying for their time if they’re (unintentionally) drawing out the process of negotiating offers and exchanging offers by being out of the country! And, you’ll get ahead of the competition, with most buyers coming out of the woodwork as summer progresses. 

Negotiate where you can with new builds

These principles are true regardless of whether you’re buying old houses or new builds. However, new builds houses don’t have any current occupiers that need to sell up, so there’s less possibility of taking advantage of seasonal changes in the housing market. Nonetheless, it’s arguable that you might get a better deal on a new build home if you make your offer towards the end of the financial year as developers might want to sell as much as possible before April rolls around. 

Or, simply see if there’s any room to negotiate once there are only a few properties left on a development site: you may face fierce competition from other interested buyers, but equally, the developers might just want to get all the properties sold.