In the blink of an eye, the trees are dappled in burnished reds and golds. That first waft of coal fire smoke garnishes the dusky sky. Dust off your autumn boots and dig out your gloves…September is here.
Summer brought with it the UK’s busiest month of house sales in a decade. Everyone agrees, the housing market is booming.
So, alongside crisp misty mornings and crackling log fires, what delights does autumn hold for sellers?
Over the last few weeks, we’ve taken calls from family buyers looking for larger homes. These guys like to buy in autumn, spring and early summer. If these times ring a bell (the school bell) that’s because they are term times!
We find that buyers with children tend not to house hunt during the school holidays. After all, when the sun is shining, ice creams at the seaside and outdoor escapades with the family beckon, leaving little time for viewing homes.
It’s also worth remembering how stressful viewing a home can be, with children who just want to be outside.
Instead, parents tend to wait until the children return to school, so they can view homes in peace. But there is more to it than convenience alone; psychology of space can come into play too.
As the days stretch out and it’s light until late in the evening, kids often spend much more time outdoors. Whilst their children are busy playing in the garden until the last glimmers of sunset fade, it’s easy for parents to feel their home is bigger than it is.
As a result, ‘upsizers’ tend not to feel as squeezed for space in the warmer months. After all, with the children outdoors, the house seems so much bigger. With more room to stretch out, a house move may not feel as urgent.
But as the nights begin to draw in, the house begins to feel crowded, meaning parents once again are looking for a change and a larger home in which to grow.
House hunters searching in September and October tend to be keener to make an early decision. After all, everybody wants to settle in ready to start enjoying their new home in time for Christmas. In fact, ‘a quiet and settled Christmas’ can be a real driving factor. Buyers are more motivated than ever to get the deal done.
With that in mind, let’s explore the top seven reasons why selling in September might be the best option for you:
1. New school year = new start
The schools have gone back. At long last. For parents, it feels like a new year and a fresh slate. With the children no longer cluttering the decks, they can see things with clarity. They can also take steps to move on. School bags strewn in the hallway and cluttered desks in the evening add more impetus. New school year = new start. Where better for a new start than in a new home?
2. Festive incentives
Ordinarily, buyers looking at property in September are keen to get moving. With Christmas on their minds, they want to have contracts signed and house moves completed well in advance of the festive season.
Adding to the festivities this year are the tax duty slashes from chancellor Rishi Sunak. Will the removal of stamp duty levies on properties below £500k light a fire within would-be buyers?
With plans for a pre-Christmas move supplemented by big savings, this excitement will no doubt drive them on.
3. An empty home is a clean home
Does the prospect of keeping a home clean and tidy for viewings fill you with fear?
If you have a family, having the children out of the house and at school during the day is a big bonus.
An empty home is so much easier to keep tidy. This means you can prepare for viewings without the worry of your hard work being undone at every turn. No more painting of the Forth Bridge!
4. Cosy September marketing
In September, your home is looking at its most warm and cosy, with lamps lit and the fire on. Never has it looked more welcoming and inviting.
Capitalise on the misty evenings and create a haven of comfort and cheer for house-hunters. A ‘twilight’ image during this season can showcase your home at its toasty best.
September weather may leave you feeling cold on the outside, but your home will be enticingly warm on the inside.
5. Size matters in September
With the colder weather and darker evenings, homeowners often retreat inside. A home that seemed spacious in the summer months suddenly feels much smaller.
Children who fled to the garden and local parks to meet friends in the summer are now flocking home. Sometimes with their friends in tow.
All these ingredients provide motivation to move on and seek out a bigger house.
6. Freedom to view at leisure
Not only is your home child-free in September – so are you! Harried parents trying to balance entertaining children with house-hunting are finally free. Free to focus on that essential task of moving home.
Now the schools have gone back, mums and dads are free to view homes child-free.
Free of distractions, questions and demands, parents are more relaxed. No need to rush through a viewing in a hurry, you are now free to view in a better frame of mind. Take the time you need to make a decision.
7. September’s garden glory
Although you might not realise it, September is a great month for the garden.
No longer scorched by the summer sun, the grass is looking lush and green. Shrubs are beginning to display an autumn glow … your garden still looks lovely.
Even when the leaves start to drop, this can be a bonus, with views often improving. As well as the low sun providing a great backdrop for twilight photo shoots, it can also bathe the house in a lovely glow for early evening viewings.
As you can see, September can be a wonderfully successful time to sell your home! But following the summer surge in home sales, will autumn sales follow suit?
Rishi Sunak seems to think so; the Chancellor’s recent cuts to Stamp Duty now extend until March 2021 and with the Stamp Duty threshold raised to £500,000, less than 10% of buyers will have to pay any Stamp Duty at all.