With the new year in full swing and the festive season behind us for another year, the question on many homeowners' lips is - is now a good time to sell?
Well, according to the latest data analysis from Rightmove, the answer is a resounding yes.
We reported last year that March was the best month to sell, and as the promise of a spring market surge begins to gather momentum, the property portal’s latest study has revealed that March is once again the strongest month for prospective property sellers to make their move and come to market.
Rightmove’s latest study pinpoints March as the pivotal and most active month for buyer demand, highlighting the prime upcoming opportunity for those wanting to achieve a sale for their home.
Latest findings at a glance
- Data analysis reveals that March has the greatest number of buyer enquiries per property listing on average for the past five years. March is the strongest month of the calendar year for selling a home.
- New listings are also highest in March, yet the data shows that solid buyer demand keeps March in the top spot for the highest average buyer competition.
- New listings have increased by 11% over the past three weeks year-on-year.
- Buyer demand has risen by 32% over the past three weeks year-on-year.
- Home valuation requests are up 27% since the start of 2022 year-on-year.
- Garden searches have soared by 70% in the past two years, with the pandemic-fuelled trend for more outdoor space at home still going strong.
Rightmove’s study analysed and compared home-moving data from the past five years, and excluded data from 2020 to account for periods in which the markets were closed due to the pandemic. The results clearly demonstrate that, on average, the month of March sees the highest number of overall buyer inquiries across each property available.
Therefore, competition between buyers is typically at its most fierce in March, highlighting it as the most opportune month for hopeful sellers to list their properties and achieve a sale.
Related: Moving Up The Property Ladder: A Guide
Current market conditions remain strong
Despite a gradual incline to mortgage interest rates, an ongoing imbalance between supply and demand is keeping the property market buoyant and full of activity. Inventory levels are still significantly low, creating a continued upward pressure on values and maintaining a healthy level of competition among buyers.
Approximately three-quarters of all listed homes are currently being sold - a continually high standard of performance when compared to historically lower averages of about half of homes successfully finding a buyer. Now, properties for sale are securing a buyer within an average of 39 days - efficient turnarounds when compared to the average of 59 days seen over the previous five years.
In addition to this, the volume of new listings coming onto the market is historically at its highest in the month of March. Nevertheless, the consistently high level of buyer demand seen for the month keeps the overall selling statistics high and keeps March in the top spot for the year.
What this means for would-be sellers is that, despite an understandable concern regarding coming to market during such a saturated month of new listings, the simultaneous buyer demand remains strong enough in March to withstand an influx of inventory.
Related: Is Now The Right Time To Upsize Your Home?
Activity growing in readiness for spring frenzy
Following March and again based on the extent of buyer competition activity, April is the second strongest month for sellers, followed by May. These consecutive top-spot months clearly demonstrate that spring is the prime time for selling homes.
Since the beginning of the year, the extent of home-moving market activity has been continually increasing as we head towards the promise of a spring market surge. The volume of new listings coming onto the market is up by 11% in just the past three weeks year-on-year, and buyer demand is reportedly up by 32% for the same period.
Additionally, the number of homeowners requesting that estate agents carry out home valuations has soared by 27% since the start of the year when compared to the same period for 2021. The ongoing trend for buyers seeking more outdoor space is also continuing, with the number of potential buyers searching for gardens increasing by 70% in January compared to two years ago.
Related: 10 Things To Check On A Property Viewing
Position yourself as a power buyer wherever possible
Many homeowners thinking of selling are inevitably also thinking of buying a new property, and some are tempted to begin searching for their new home before even listing their current one for sale.
However, now more than ever, it is essential to put yourself in as powerful a position as you can when it comes to buying. In such a competitive market, having already listed and preferably even sold your current home subject to contract puts you in a fantastic position as a preferred buyer.
Related: 18 First-Time Buyer Property Picks For 500k Or Less
Related: Leasehold, Freehold, Share Of Freehold Explained
Don't miss out on the March action
If you are seriously considering selling your property, it's time to get your skates on. March is around the corner, yet with April and May closely following for outstanding seller conditions, it's certainly not too late to get in on the action.
Here are some crucial tips for selling your home and preparing it quickly.
Declutter and donate
Don't waste any time second-guessing this point and procrastinating. Take it from the experts - buyers need to be able to envision themselves in your property as their own, and the easiest way to help them do that is to provide a relatively blank canvas.
So, throw out or pack up as much as you can and donate anything you simply never use. In addition, pack away personal effects and make your home feel more spacious, less cluttered, and ready for a buyer to stamp their own personality upon.
Make necessary repairs
Ideally, consult with an estate agent on this, as you don't want to waste time and money on projects that don't affect saleability and neglect what matters most. Your home needn't be perfect, but make sure you tend to any obvious issues, such as leaky taps, cracked tiles, jammed drawers/doors, etc.
If you’d like any maintenance work done, give us a call on 020 7099 6999 to make a booking with one of our experienced tradesmen. You can also get an instant handyman quote here.
Consider impactful upgrades
Not every upgrade will necessarily see a return in profits, but some may make the difference when it comes to getting your house sold. Look at your home through a buyer's eyes, and consider what stands out the most. For example, worn or stained carpeting can be a big turn-off and will need replacing, while simply removing old drapes or blinds may suffice.
Likewise, kitchens and bathrooms can be significantly improved with a few superficial upgrades to items such as handles or light fixtures, while a lick of neutral paint here and there can do wonders to brighten up worn-out spaces.
Do a deep clean
The more uncluttered and spotless you present your home for sale, the more attractive it will be to potential buyers. So, take the time to do a deep clean inside and out, and then commit to maintaining that standard during your viewing period.
Whether you are looking for a weekly cleaning service, a spring clean, a carpet clean or a sofa clean we can help. Our experienced cleaners charge £20 + VAT per hour; call for a fixed price quote today on 020 7099 4000!
Improve your curb appeal
Unless it's your go-to hobby already, chances are, your property's curb appeal could do with a little TLC. View your property through the eyes of a buyer from the outside and see what you notice. Perhaps you need to improve the lawn, repair the pathway or repaint the garage door. Whatever it is, first impressions count, so make your home look inviting from the get-go.
Consider home staging
Whether you handle this yourself or call in the professionals, home-staging is all the rage these days and puts you at a distinct advantage when it comes to viewings. Home staging involves strategically lighting and furnishing your home to accent its qualities and help to create an emotional connection between the space and potential buyers.
In addition, home staging can reduce the time your property is on the market by a staggering 73% and help sell for a huge 8% more in price, so it is well worth investing some time, effort, and money in preparation for listing.
We offer Home Staging as part of our 2% Concierge package, which also includes featured advertising on the big property portals and free property maintenance to make sure your house is in tip top condition. It really does make sense therefore to opt for home staging if an agent offers it, as the extra money you’ll pay on the house will easily pay for the service and leave you with lots of change.
Before and after Portico home staging, a free service as part of our Concierge Sales Package.
Thinking of selling? Let us help
At Portico, our team of estate experts is on hand, ready to answer your questions and guide you through the sales process. You can reach us on 020 7099 4000 or start by using our handy online valuation tool.