Should you sell your home in summer, spring, autumn or winter? What’s the best time of day to sell? How should you sell your home, privately or by auction?
There are no hard and fast rules to timing an auction, but leaning on the expertise of those within the industry who have learned from years of observation will help you identify how your property might perform in different seasons, days of the week and even times of the day.
What time of year is best to sell your home?
“The property market in Sydney is seasonal,” says Nicky Cadry, Director at BuyEast Buyers Agency in Sydney. “School holidays and public holidays are major factors that are taken into account when marketing a property for sale.”
Holiday periods, especially school holidays over summer and the depths of winter, tend to see people organising trips or being less inclined to make major financial decisions during this period. They are traditionally seen as the quietest times of the year in the property market. This can play to a vendor’s advantage, however, if supply remains low and your property becomes…well, hot property. Aiming for this outcome can be risky if the number of properties on the market stays high and demand remains low, which may see your property passed in or with few attractive bids. Outside of these quiet periods, there are usually points in the year where more activity occurs on the market, which makes it easier to be confident that your property will sell above your reserve.
“There are two strong selling seasons we see in the eastern suburbs — one around March and the other in October,” says Nicky. “Both periods generally have good weather and are not in school holidays. Auctions in these two months are generally strong and have plenty of buyers circulating. As buyers agents we love buying homes in these months, but we also look for the quirky, odd auctions that come up when other buyers are away or overseas, this is one strategy we use to buy at a discounted price for our clients.”
Coastal homes tend to benefit from sales during the warmer months, as potential buyers can get a sense of the lifestyle of being near the coast by inspecting a home with open windows, plenty of natural light and a flow of air through the home.
Winter can be a good time to present other types of properties by relying less on natural light but to use various lighting techniques and textural additions to create a visually warm and inviting home for potential buyers.
What day and time should you auction your home?
In Victoria, many homes are sold on a Saturday, and usually during the morning. This is why it can be handy to use a buyers agent or to bid over the phone, as it frees bidders up to be at more than one auction at once so that they do not miss out on a property if they can’t secure the first.
The vast majority of properties are sold on the weekend and most on Saturday. This makes sense because most people are working midweek and Saturday is usually a free day. This means that auctions on a Saturday are best for vendors as well, as they attract the most people and can generate the most activity during the auction as a result of ‘auction fever’.
There are auctions held midweek, which benefit those selling apartments the most. Fewer bidders (as it is midweek) can see competition falter during midweek auctions, which can affect overall clearance rates. For Nicky Cadry, the opposite is true, with midweek auctions constituting a large number of properties for sale.
“In the eastern suburbs, auctions are generally held in local auction rooms after 6pm on a weekday evening. These auction rooms tend to fill up quickly as they conduct up to ten auctions per night there. The crowd creates a buzz, the auctioneers are excited and the atmosphere is great for selling high-end properties. Alternately, we see on-site auctions on a Saturday mid-morning. These are good when the property is special and the buyers can tend to get more emotional if they are at the property when bidding. These on-site auctions are not great if parking at the property is difficult, or they are held too early in the morning.”
If you plan an auction too early in the morning, you risk getting low numbers at your auction. However, mid-to-late morning auctions are ideal, especially in the warmer months, with clearance rates during this period of the day being their highest compared to the afternoon.