When is the best time to buy or sell?

When is the best time to buy or sell?

Making the decision to sell up and move to a new house is a huge step for anyone. Timing is everything, so do your homework beforehand and consider the following.

The state of the market

Get a feel for the current property climate by reading articles on housing and looking through real estate newspaper sections. If the market is generally going well then it’s usually a good time to sell, although it may be trickier to buy as a strong market can drive prices up. Try not to get panicked by headlines though. Keep a cool head and research the following:
  • Suburb reports: available online, these provide a profile of a suburb, its demographics and details of the area’s property sales. Assess whether the suburb is a property hotspot [Buying your next house before selling – the pros and cons], a hidden gem or a slow mover.
  • Property reports: also on the web, these can give you the sales history of a house, its current estimated price and how long it has been on the market - all factors to consider before you pounce.
  • Agent reports: ask real estate agents for their recent sales’ history brochure for a particular suburb, which will help clarify your selling or buying choices.

Your finances

Of course the timing of any property decision depends on your financial situation. Online calculators can guide you on mortgage repayments and stamp-duty fees. However, it’s essential you talk to a mortgage lender who can give you a thorough assessment.

The seasons

Spring is generally considered the best time to sell a property. There’s a buzz as more people suddenly get active, compared to winter, and want to sort things out before the distractions of summer. As there can be more people looking in spring, prices can increase, which is good if you’re selling, but not so good if you’re buying. However, there’s often more stock to choose from. Autumn’s also a strong property time.

Your rental outlay

If you currently rent and pay more in weekly rent than it would cost to service a mortgage in an area you like, then it could be a good time to buy. 

Your mindset

If you feel the itch to sell or buy, particularly if it’s out of the blue, discuss it with loved ones first. Feeling bored with an area or home may actually be symptomatic of something else. Make sure you move for the right reasons. 
If you are on the right path and the timing is right, you might want to use our online energy calculator to see how much gas and electricity could cost in your new place.