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March 17th - the best day to sell

uk property

It’s a hoary old chestnut and fertile grounds for almost endless debate amongst property owners – what is the best time of the year to sell my home?

Some of the ideas may be no more than idle speculation, based on one-off personal experience, or a half-remembered conversation in the bar. In a post dated the 20th of February 2018, however, estate agents emoov have done their research not only on the best time of the year but homed in on one day in particular – and that day is the 17th of March.

It might be added that emoov’s date is calculated according to the day on which the property is first listed for sale. Their research was based on the fact that the largest number of property transactions during 2017 was completed in June of that year.

Then using statistics compiled by the Post Office on the average number of days between listing a home for sale until final completion (96 days) and subtracting that from a day in mid-June, it was possible to arrive at the date of the 17th of March.


There may be a number of reasons for a date in mid-March to be the best time to put your home on the market. A number of these are put forward by the Home Owners’ Alliance (HOA)

  • almost everything looks better in Spring – and that is likely to include your home and its settings – it’s also a time of year when people have recovered from Christmas festivities but before they start taking their summer holidays; 
  • for that reason, summer has traditionally been a difficult time to sell – if you and potential buyers are not away on your holidays, looking after the children when they are away from school is likely to be time-consuming in the extreme;
  • a mild Autumn might leave your home and garden looking suitably attractive right through to October – but the unpredictability of British weather makes this by no means certain, so you might need to act fast; and 
  • winter is one of the more difficult times of the year in which to sell, if not least because of all the festive preparations around Christmas and because of the generally bleak and gloomy weather.

Regional variations 

However careful and precise the date of March 17th might appear, it is subject to potentially quite radical variations because of regional differences.

Whilst mid-June is fairly consistently the time for completion of the most property transactions throughout the UK, 96 days is only the average length of time for which you might need to keep your home on the market – there are wide regional variations of up to 51 days between the fastest and slowest moving markets.

With emoov’s figures suggesting that it takes some 110 days to sell a house in either London or Swansea, for instance, the ideal date for putting your home on the market becomes the 25th of February. If you live in Bristol, on the other hand, it takes an average of only 61 days to conclude a sale and the busiest month for these is August – so you might leave putting your home on the market until mid-June.

Pinning down an exact date, therefore, is likely to be inconclusive. But if you aim to put your home on the market sometime during the Spring (from March to June), you may stand a better chance of the transaction going through quickly that at other times of the year.