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When is the best time to sell?

When is the best time to sell?

BY Peter O’Malley, Author – Inside Real Estate.

Once the decision to sell a property has been made, the next question is usually ‘when?’

There are myths and methods to work through in order to get the right answer.

The best time to sell is when you are offered the right amount. If that happens unconventionally such as an unsolicited offer or a strong offer in the first week of the campaign, then that may be the best time to sell.

There tends to be 5 unofficial market cycles throughout the calendar year.

New Year listings – these tend to be listed after Australia Day with the intention of selling before Easter (which came relatively early this year). With the lack of stock over December and January creating pent-up buyer demand, this can be a reasonable time to sell. Particularly those that are in the market first to engage New Year buyers.

Post-Easter autumn market – campaigns in this part of the year have the intention of getting sold before winter sets in. By this time of year, the market has usually found its level and can be a high transaction period as there is a fairly good understanding of where the market price is set. Sometimes, larger external events can upset the seasonal trend too.

For example, in May 2017, the Federal Governments May Federal Budget was particularly tough towards bank lending into the property market. These changes – brought about by the bank regulator, APRA – saw the Sydney property boom of 2012 to 2017 come to an almost sudden stop.

Winter market – stock levels tend to be tight during winter. Admittedly many properties don’t present their best in winter. However, winter should not be instantly dismissed as a poor season to sell. Stock tends to tighten more than demand does during winter, creating clear advantages to the winter property sellers.

Spring market – spring is by far the most overrated time of year to sell. Even during the boom years, there are clear examples where the clearance rates softened as excess stock on the market diluted demand. A great strategy can be to sell in winter with a long settlement and buy in spring when listing numbers are at their highest.

Pre-Christmas market – The excess spring stock begins to subside by about early to mid-November. This can throw up a selling opportunity for the unsold stock from earlier in the year or those who suddenly decide to sell pre-Christmas. It would surprise most people how many transactions are completed in late November and December.

Economics trump seasons when it comes to deciding upon the best time of year to sell.

If the market is rising, you can afford to be patient and relaxed about the timing of the sale.

When the market is falling, waiting for a better season may not be your best option as prices are facing downward pressure.

This is the dilemma many now face in the current market. There is downward pressure on prices as we head into the winter markets. Is it better to sell in a (perceived) less desirable season or wait for the traditional spring selling market?

It’s a classic market condition vs selling season debate.

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