The holidays are over, and it’s time for everything to start ticking along again, including the property market. January represents a fresh start and is considered a good time to sell your house, but it’s not without its woes. In this post we’ll discuss the pros and cons of selling in January.
Is January a good month to sell your house?
The new year is often seen as the ideal time for a fresh start, especially after Christmas. This makes it a popular period to begin looking for a new home. Buyer activity increases in the new year.
Buyers and sellers are typically at the beginning of their property journey. it might take a few months for buyers to view enough options before they’re ready to make a buying decision. For sellers, many will only start doing up their properties in preparation for sale a couple of months down the line.
According to Google Trends, buyer demand certainly peaks after December. As you can see in the graph in the link, online searches for “buying a home” spiked every January for the last five years. Demand for property starts on Boxing Day, suggesting home hunters are thinking about their next move.
Why selling your house in January is a good idea
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why sellers have a reason to be cheerful selling their house in January.
Low supply; high demand
Some sellers often take their homes off the market before Christmas. The inconvenience of having viewings during the festive period is a major reason for this. Strangers touring sellers homes while they prefer to relax with a hot chocolate and a Christmas film is unappealing for many. It’s more convenient to wait until the New Year. So as a seller, if your property is ready for viewing when buyer demand picks up after Christmas, you will be poised to capture that demand, while also benefiting from the fact that there will be less properties for sale on the market competing with yours.
Everyone is back at work
After a festive lull, solicitors, surveyors and estate agents return to their desks, and eager buyers who may have found it challenging to finalise a deal during December are ready and waiting to pounce. Marketing your home at this time can be a smart strategy, as everyone is getting back in the groove, ready for the new year.
The property market usually exhibits similar trends each year. March often sees the highest average number of buyer enquiries per property, but the online searches start in January. Known as the ‘new leaf’ syndrome, potential buyers begin to commit to making the current year the one where they finally make the move.
Houses often sell a bit faster at the beginning of the year due to a slightly less saturated market. While properties in summer take an average of 65 days to agree a sell, in January this reduces to 60 days, as per OnlineMortgageAdvisor.
Furthermore, you’re likely to receive offers closer to your asking price during the start of a new year. In warmer months, buyers have more options, but the limited choice in the cooler months can work in a seller’s favour.
Reasons why the January market isn’t so hot
The new year offers a more prosperous time to sell your property compared to the festive season, but there are no certainties. Post-holiday financial strains can deter potential buyers. After the expenses of the festive season, many people find themselves tightening their belts, making them less inclined to make large financial commitments, like purchasing a home.
The winter weather continues to play a role. Cold, dreary conditions are less conducive to house hunting, leading to fewer viewings and a potentially slower market. Moreover, due to the weather being dark, homes often don’t appear at their best, which may affect the amount of offers a seller receives.
Additionally, there’s a general sense of market recovery as both buyers and sellers are just starting to regroup after the holidays. This period is often used by sellers to prepare their properties which will only become available in the Spring, resulting in fewer listings and thus, reduced activity in the January market, while buyers are only viewing their first properties at this time. The average number of viewings to sell a house is 10, so a lot of buyers won’t be ready to pull the trigger until they have first seen a good variety of other options.
How can I sell my home in January?
There are a few options on the table if you’re thinking of selling your home in January and want a quick sale.
Make sure your property is well-presented. Given the weather, a warm, welcoming home can make a significant difference. Keep the heating on during viewings and maximise lighting to counter the gloomy outside. Emphasise the cosy aspects of your home, like fireplaces or snug living areas, as these can help paint a picture for potential buyers.
You’ll need all the marketing you can get, whether it’s from estate agents or your own initiative. High-quality photos with good natural lighting, showcasing your property’s best features are a must, as they can entice buyers browsing online during the colder months. Enlisting the help of a reputable estate agent can also increase your chances of a successful sale, but you can do your part by advertising the home on social media.
The fastest way to sell property in January
If you’re looking for a quicker sale, Property Rescue can help. We specialise in fast property sales, often completing transactions within as little a 7 days. This can be particularly beneficial in slower months. Our streamlined process and readiness to buy directly from your with cash will circumvent the usual delays and uncertainties of selling, making us an ideal solution for those needing to sell promptly.
Get a free, no-obligation offer on your property today: free, no-obligation quote.