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When Is The Best Time to Sell Your House?

Martha Lott

Written by Reviewed by Graham Norwood

1st Jun 2020 (Last updated on 27th Jul 2021) 10 minute read

The best time to sell a house is in June, July, August and September as it takes just 62 days on average to sell.

Time it takes to sell your property will vary depending on your location, property type and circumstances, plus the state of the housing market. When the market is ‘hot’ and demand outstrips supply, homes sell quickly - especially if they are competitively priced. If the market is ‘cold’ and supply is plentiful, homes take longer to sell…and some do not sell at all.

Compare My Move work with property industry experts to bring you insightful and fact-checked articles on everything moving house. This guide offers a detailed look at the best time to sell a house in 2021, including each nations’ favourite month to move and the average days it takes to sell.

This article will cover the following:
  1. Is it a Good Time to Sell a House?
  2. How Long Does It Take To Sell A House?
  3. What Month is the Best Time to Sell a House?
  4. What Is The Worst Month To Sell A House?
  5. What Is The Best Day To Sell A House?
  6. Do Different Regions Make A Difference?
  7. Do Seasons Matter When Selling Your Home?
  8. Which Property Types Sell Best At Different Times Of Year?
  9. Selling a House Out of Peak Season
  10. Can I Take My House Off the Market at Any Time?
  11. Next Steps of Selling a House

Is it a Good Time to Sell a House?

2021 is a good time to sell a house as house prices have increased by 9.9% since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020 compared to March 2021. The reduced Stamp Duty threshold which is in place until September 30th is also good news for sellers, as many buyers will want to complete before this date.

Regardless of house prices and keen buyers, you should never rush a house sale. There are many fees for selling a house involved that could put you out of pocket if you haven't prepared.

How Long Does It Take To Sell A House?

On average, in early 2020 it took 67 days to sell a house in the UK. Rightmove’s House Price Index revealed that properties sold 6% faster in early 2020 than a year earlier. The average time to ‘secure a buyer’ across the UK was lower throughout the summer months, with January taking the most amount of time with an average of 76 days. Despite the trend being similar, it’s important to note that that average time was longer in London.

However, averages mask a host of differences in location and circumstances, including how much your house is worth and the efficiency of your conveyancing solicitor. For the best deal, make sure you compare solicitor quotes before deciding.

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What Month is the Best Time to Sell a House?

June, July, August and September are the best months to sell a house, with it taking just 62 days on average to secure a buyer for the sale, according to Rightmove’s 2020 data. This is also a pattern for the London data as the summer months have a lower average of between 67-69 days - June seems to be the most favoured month in London with the average number of days to find a buyer being lowered to 67.

Compare My Move’s data also reveals that most buyers move house in the summer month of August, with Summer being the nation's favourite season to move. This means that it isn’t a surprise that Summer is the best time of year to sell a house as the warmer and longer days create the ideal conditions to move and house-hunt.

Despite generally taking a shorter length of time to sell, it’s important to note that the housing market can sometimes be slow during this time as families focus on the summer holidays. This may mean that putting your home on the market during March or April could result in further interest.

What Is The Worst Month To Sell A House?

January is often the worst month to sell a house as it takes an average of 76 days to find a buyer for the sale, according to Rightmove. With Christmas just out of the way, many people aren’t thinking about moving house, although buyers do start researching properties around this time ready for the new year. This may mean that interest in your property may increase but the buyers won’t necessarily be ready to confirm the transaction.

Compare My Move’s data also shows that the least favourite season among buyers is Winter, with November and December being the most unpopular months to move house.

What Is The Best Day To Sell A House?

The best time to list your house for sale is a Wednesday, according to Zoopla data. They reported that Wednesday after 9pm is the most popular time for buyers to view homes online and to contact estate agents.

Friday and Saturday are the least popular days to list your house for sale. In terms of completing a sale, our data shows that Friday is the most popular day for buyers to move house, however.

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Do Different Regions Make A Difference?

Several assessments were undertaken in 2019 and early 2020 to estimate the speed of sale in different locations - but remember, this is just a guide and some houses sell literally within hours, while others struggle to find a buyer even after a year.

So in 2019 and early 2020, properties in Scotland sold the quickest, taking an average of 47 days to sell. Homes in the North East of England took the longest to sell, with an average of 81 days to complete the sale. Every area is different, and some property types may sell quicker or be in more demand in certain locations of the UK.

It’s worth taking a closer look at your area and its selling history as there will likely be a regional difference. Below we look at the average time to sell a house in each region of the UK, along with the March 2020 average house price and monthly change.

RegionAvg. Time to SellBuyers Favourite Month to MoveAvg. House PriceMonthly Change

Scotland

47 days

May

£159,149

3.7%

North East

81 days

October

£153,694

1.6%

North West

69 days

January

£201,199

0.1%

Yorkshire & Humber

67 days

October

£196,002

-0.7%

East Midlands

65 days

July

£230,783

0.7%

West Midlands

62 days

October

£233,224

0.6%

Wales

71 days

July

£199,249

-0.2%

East of England

68 days

August

£356,709

1.0%

Greater London

67 days

August

£638,826

1.6%

South East

72 days

August

£408,796

1.2%

South West

67 days

August

£313,127

1.6%

Data taken from Rightmove's House Price Index. Buyer's favourite month to move taken from Compare My Move's data.

Do Seasons Matter When Selling Your Home?

Looking at Compare My Move data, our research shows that Summer is the most popular season for buyers to move house. Given that the average time taken to secure a buyer is around 67 days, this means the best time to list your home for sale should be around Spring.

Ultimately, when you sell your house will be your choice. There is only a 14-day gap between the best and worst months to sell based on the average time to sell data. Below we take a look at selling your house during each season.

The New Year - Many buyers look for potential properties to buy in the New Year after usually looking for a fresh start after Christmas. However, they typically don’t take action until mid-February. January is often the worst month to sell your house, taking 76 days to find a buyer. Whilst interest usually increases during this month, it doesn’t mean that the buyers are ready to commit to a sale.

Spring - Spring is a close second for the best season to sell your house. Properties sell quickly in April and May, taking 64 and 63 days on average to find a buyer for the sale. Spring is also a popular time for buyers to choose as their moving date, especially if they have families and want to get to know an area before the start of the school year in August or September.

Summer - Summer is the best time of year to sell your house, with June, July, August and September taking on average the least amount of days to sell. With lighter and sunnier days, your house will seem more appealing to potential buyers in the listing photographs. Interest can sometimes decrease due to the summer holidays, but families are often in a better position to finalise the sale and move house.

Autumn - The Autumn season has a relatively low average number of days for properties to sell, with October and November taking 64 and 67 days. Our data show that Autumn is the joint-second favourite season for buyers to look at moving. Christmas is still a fair distance away to not impact the sale and the school holidays will also be ending.

Winter - Winter is the worst time of year to sell your house, with December, January and February taking 71, 76 and 67 days to sell respectively. Compare My Move research also shows Winter is the least popular season for UK movers due to the cold weather and darker days. Christmas is often a chaotic time and moving house would only make it more stressful. Many offices will also begin to close meaning communication throughout the property chain could drastically decrease.

Which Property Types Sell Best At Different Times Of Year?

Some property types will sell better at different times of the year. Certain property types will always be in demand such as detached or semi-detached homes, whilst others will be in demand at certain time periods - small flats and terraced houses are usually more popular at the start of a university term.

Below we’ve listed certain property types along with their popular time of year to sell, according to The Advisory data:

Property TypeBest Time of Year to Sell

1-2 bed flats and terraced houses

January, February and September

3-4 bed houses

Outside of any school holidays

Bungalows

Between the warmer months of June-September

Selling a House Out of Peak Season

Whether you need to sell immediately or personal circumstances require you to delay putting your home on the market, you shouldn’t be discouraged by having to put your house up for sale out of ‘peak season’. There can still be advantages to selling your home during the least popular months.

When selling a property during ‘off-season’, there will likely be less competition within your local area. There will still be potential buyers looking to view a variety of properties and so your home may stand out within the small number still up for sale. The buyers who search for homes during ‘off-season’ are often less picky and much more motivated to buy.

Another possible advantage is that many conveyancing solicitors, surveyors and mortgage lenders will be less busy. This means they will likely be more available to you and focus more of their attention onto your property, possibly resulting in a quicker sale.

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Can I Take My House Off the Market at Any Time?

Wanting to sell your home during the peak season may mean a premature sale. If you’re still unsure whether you want to sell your property, you should wait until the time comes that you’re completely happy and ready to sell.

However, if you do put your house on the market only to want to take it off further down the line, know that it is usually possible to do so in the UK. No party is legally bound to the transaction until the contracts are signed and exchanged. Both the seller and buyer can walk away before this stage. You will likely lose out on any money spent on marketing but you should be able to easily take the advertisements down.

If you’ve accepted an offer and have signed the contract, you are legally bound to the sale and will be expected to transfer ownership. If you still try to pull out, you may face serious consequences and perhaps a fine.

Next Steps of Selling a House

This article has been part of our selling a house guide. Once you have an idea of when you'd like to list your house for sale, it is important to understand the process of both buying and selling a house at the same time. For more on this topic read How to Buy and Sell Your Home at the Same Time.

Martha Lott

Written by Martha Lott

Having written for Huffington Post and Film Criticism Journal, Martha now regularly researches and writes advice articles for everything moving house related.

Graham Norwood

Reviewed by Graham Norwood

Property Journalist and Editor,

With over 15 years of experience in residential property journalism, Graham is currently the editor for both Estate Agent Today and Letting Agent Today.