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LETTER OF THE DAY: Housing - more needs to be done

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The autumn’s a good time to move, right?

Probably one of the commonest questions estate agents get asked is ‘Is this a good time to put our home on the market?’

It tends to crop up just around now, shortly after Christmas, and in the run-up to Easter.

And, not surprisingly, it is generally followed a few weeks later by a closely-related question: ‘Is it worth putting our home on the market now, or should we wait until next (September/New Year/Easter)?’

Why is this?

Well, these are the three times of year when the property market is traditionally said to be at its most active, and not surprisingly, people want to surf that expected wave of buyer interest.

But does this really stand up to scrutiny?

Well, let’s take the autumn. September and early October do indeed normally enjoy quite an increase in property market activity.

For many of us, this is a time of new beginnings, with people moving to new jobs, etc, while for those who are planning to move, it’s natural to want to have it all done and dusted in time for Christmas, and before the worst of the winter weather makes the thought of moving house thoroughly daunting.

Similar, though different, cases can equally well be made for the post-Christmas and Easter periods.

As with autumn, there is some logic to both of them.

But, does this necessarily make any of them a particularly ‘good’ time to put your home on the market?

Actually, timing is generally less important than you might think.

For one thing, if it were that simple, we’d all be property millionaires!

But in any case, you need to remember that the balance between supply and demand in the property market is largely self-adjusting – by which I simply mean that other things being equal, large numbers of hopeful buyers will automatically tend to attract large numbers of equally hopeful sellers.

The simple fact is that if your property is well-presented and well-priced, it stands just as much chance of selling during the summer holidays as it does in autumn – or the New Year, or at Easter.

So, my advice is always the same: forget about trying to read the runes, and just move when it suits you.

Or, to put it another way, there’s no time like the present…!