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Sellers – why the early part of the year is a great time to sell

The market may be cooling slightly from the record highs we’ve been seeing in recent years, as higher interest rates and the cost of living start to bite, but demand is remaining strong in the early parts of 2022 – with Rightmove recently reporting another festive period of record traffic.

Despite the emergence of the Omicron variant, there is no sign that the government will introduce further lockdown measures for the moment, and people appear to be getting on as normal – as much as possible – with their lives. In some cases, this will include putting home-buying plans into action, as New Year’s resolutions are acted upon or changed priorities necessitate a house move.

With the above in mind, here at Ideal Locations, we set out why now is an excellent time to list a property.

Demand hits a peak

January is typically the busiest month for the portals and agent websites in terms of traffic and visits, so it makes sense to list your home this month to take advantage of all the extra exposure it will receive.

With the kids back at school and the festivities over, people have more time and focus to concentrate on their home-buying dreams, which plays to the benefit of sellers. The more buyers you have competing for your property, the greater your chances of achieving your desired asking price and completing a sale in a timely manner.

Interest rates could rise again

Just before Christmas, the Bank of England – against all expectations – decided to increase interest rates for the first time in more than three years to combat rising inflation. In spite of the new Covid variant, the Bank felt it necessary to try and dampen down soaring inflation, which looks set to soon reach highs last seen in the 1990s.

With the cost-of-living crisis set to get worst this April, due to rising energy costs, tax increases and stagnation in wages, there is every chance the BoE could act again to increase the base rate from its current level of 0.25%. Further interest rate rises have been mooted for some time, but it had been thought that Omicron might have kept these on ice. However, the need to control inflation looks likely to outdo economic fears caused by the new variant.

Higher interest rates typically mean higher borrowing costs, which could put some buyers off as they would likely face higher mortgage repayments once they’ve purchased their home. For now, interest rates still remain very low by historic standards, which should encourage borrowers to still borrow as there are plenty of good deals on the market. But this could change if interest rates creep up slowly over the first half of the year.

As such, buyers may be looking to act now, and therefore it’s important that your home is listed to again take advantage of this increased demand from motivated buyers.

The appeal of a warm and cosy home

The received wisdom is that people far prefer to move home in the summer, when the weather is generally better and there are more daylight hours. While this may hold some truth, there are certain advantages to selling in the winter months, too, when it is of course far easier to show off a warm and cosy home that prospective buyers may be keen to hunker down in.

In your marketing materials, you may wish to show off the warmness and cosiness of your home if you are looking to sell this winter, to increase its appeal to would-be buyers. You should try and make your photos as seasonal as possible – so, for example, if you have a fireplace in your living room, you may want to take a picture of this all lit up to give your home a warm, cosy glow.

On viewings, too, you may want to turn up the heating in the hours before someone visits, to ensure the home is nicely toasty when someone steps inside. These little touches can help to make all the difference. While ventilating your home well is highly important at the moment, to reduce the spread of Covid, there are still steps you can take to ensure your home is well-heated and welcoming when someone enters it for a viewing. Here at Ideal Locations, we can help you to complete a sale in the early part of this year. We focus on Ilford, East London and Essex, so if you are local and looking to sell now, do not hesitate to contact us.

We can pair you with a knowledgeable agent who will inform you about the process and advise you exactly what actions you need to take to yield the best results.