Q. I overheard a guy at my gym talking about waiting till Easter to put his house on the market. He obviously thinks that must be a good time. Why?
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There is a widely-held belief that Easter is a particularly good time to put your home on the market – although whether this is actually based on any hard statistical evidence, or simply a nod towards the traditional view of Spring as a time of new beginnings, is quite another matter.
What we can say is that Easter tends to be one of the property market’s busier times. Why? Well, people have a bit more time on their hands during the Easter break. And there are the lighter evenings, not to mention slightly better weather (hopefully). All of these can have a positive effect on activity levels.
However, this isn’t always the case. In fact, in some parts of the country, the property market practically goes into suspended animation over the Easter holiday period, as it tends to more widely in August. Why? Because for every person who chooses to spend his or her time off work house-hunting, there’s someone else who sees it as a golden opportunity to head off to the sun instead. (And as far as this particular Easter period is concerned, it’s worth remembering that there also happens to be a Royal Wedding to distract people's attention away from moving home - albeit only temporarily.)
Nevertheless, when all’s said and done, the only question that really matters from a seller’s point of view is whether a busy market is necessarily a good market. And the fact is, the two terms are by no means interchangeable. Yes, there may well be loads more prospective buyers rushing around. But for precisely that reason, they will almost certainly have a lot more property to choose from – thanks to people like your bloke in the gym.
So, my answer to this question, whenever it crops up, is always the same. In reality, there is no such thing as a “good” or a “bad” time to put your home on the market. If you are seriously contemplating moving home, then there is quite simply no time like the present.
And remember, in property as in any other market, the smart money rarely runs with the herd!