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Selling a house? Find out the best day of the year to put your home on the market

March 17 is the best day in 2018 for you to list your home to get a sale, according to research from an online estate agent. Online estate agency Emoov combined transaction data with the average number of days to sell a property and concluded that mid-March is the best time of the year to put a property up for sale. We explore how this varies from city to city and explain the steps you need to take to ensure a quick and profitable sale.

Average time to sell a property

To reach the March 17 date, Emoov identified the month in 2017 that saw the highest number of transactions – June – and then worked backwards, subtracting the average number of days that it takes for a UK property to go under offer (96, according to Post Office data). The research also revealed some more localised trends, as the amount of time it takes for an offer to be accepted on a property varies by as much as 51 days between cities – and the 2017 month with the highest number of transactions also varied from area to area.

City Average time to sell Highest month for transactions (2017) Best day to put on the market London 111 June 24 February Swansea 110 June 25 February Hull 101 June 6 March Cardiff 86 June 21 March Derby 86 June 21 March Sheffield 83 June 24 March Leeds 77 June 30 March Plymouth 76 June 31 March Nottingham 74 June 2 April Manchester 71 June/August 5 April/5 June Stoke-On-Trent 70 June 6 April Newcastle 97 July 9 April Norwich 83 July 9 April Birmingham 77 July 29 April Portsmouth 73 July 3 May Brighton 84 August 23 May Bristol 61 August 15 June Liverpool 112 March 23 November Southend 78 March 27 December Leicester 76 March 29 December Average 96 June 17 March

Preparing to sell your property

If you’re planning to put your house or flat on the market, there are some key steps you can take to get yourself and your home into the best position for a quick sale.

  • Declutter and get an honest friend to give their opinion of how your home will look to a prospective buyer – you’d be surprised how easily it is to become blind to your property’s flaws.
  • Get your paperwork in order – documentation covering work you’ve had done to the house, eg building regulation and electrical certificates, buildings insurance, and an energy performance certificate[2] will all be needed further down the line so it will speed things up if you’ve already tracked them down.
  • Find a solicitorconveyancing[3] can be the lengthiest part of the home-moving process, so try and find a firm with a good reputation and the availability to move things along quickly.
  • Speak to a mortgage adviser[4] – having a good idea of how much you can borrow for your next property will enable you to hit the ground running when you start house-hunting.

For more advice, check out our guide on how to sell a house[5].

Finding the best estate agent

The estate agent you choose will make a big difference to how quickly your property sells – and how much you get for it. The first step is to research local agents[6] and find the firms most likely to be able to help based on who has sold local properties like yours recently.

Once you’ve got a feel for the local market, invite three agents to come and value your home. This is a really important part of the process, as not only will it enable you to find out roughly how much your house is worth, but it will also enable you to interview each agent and understand what they would do to help sell your property. Our estate agents checklist[7] outlines the key questions to ask.

Don’t just go with the agent that gives you the highest valuation: some companies use this as a tactic to win business. It can be a good idea to combine the average valuation you receive with recent local selling prices (which you can check on sites such as Zoopla and MousePrice). Fees are a major consideration, especially as most high street agents charge a percentage of the sale price (the average is around 1.3%) – so this can run to thousands of pounds.

Some agents will allow you to negotiate, while online estate agents[8] will often offer lower fees for a more stripped-back service. Once you’ve found an agent that you’re happy with, make sure you read the contract thoroughly and watch out for long tie-in or notice periods. Again, you can negotiate on these terms – don’t sign unless you’re completely happy with the arrangement.

  • We’ve teamed up with Get Agent, a service that lets you compare estate agents in your area based on how many properties they’ve sold, the average time it takes them to achieve a sale, how much of the asking price they achieve and the fees they charge.

    Use our tool to compare estate agents[9].

Achieving a sale

Once your property is on the market, be as accommodating as possible to potential buyers. Most estate agents say it’s best if you can make yourself scarce during viewings, as buyers will feel more comfortable asking questions and spending a decent amount of time looking around. If the estate agent passes on any queries from people who are interested in your property, make sure you answer promptly and honestly.

When the all-important offer comes in, consider the buyer’s situation as well as the amount they’re offering – particularly if you have more than one party interested in buying.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage. Which? Limited is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Which?

Financial Services Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 527029). Which? Mortgage Advisers and Which?

Money Compare are trading names of Which?

Financial Services Limited.


  1. ^ Which?

    Mortgage Advisers (

  2. ^ energy performance certificate (
  3. ^ conveyancing (
  4. ^ mortgage adviser (
  5. ^ how to sell a house (
  6. ^ research local agents (
  7. ^ estate agents checklist (
  8. ^ online estate agents (
  9. ^ compare estate agents (

Six things to consider before choosing an estate agent to sell your home

Moving house is often listed as one of life’s most stressful events. While the estate agent you choose to help sell your house can sometimes relieve some of this stress, many of you find that they add to it instead. In December 2017, we surveyed 2,005 homeowners to find out how they had found their most recent experiences of buying and selling their homes.

Using an estate agent is by far the most popular way to sell – 86% of respondents had sold their most recent house through an estate agent. While 48% of those people told us that they didn’t experience any problems with their estate agent during the selling process, 47% had experienced at least one problem with their agent, proving that choosing the right agent is key. But how do people go about choosing the agent that they settle on, and is there any way to avoid ending up with one that makes the process more difficult?

According to our survey, most people compare several factors, and the following comparisons are the most popular ways to make your decision:

Are these the right things to consider? And how important are each of these factors? Scroll down for our expert advice on choosing an estate agent, and head to the bottom of the page to find our new, free high street estate agent comparison tool.[1]


Multiple valuations

The majority of you (65%) compared valuations from different estate agents to choose which to use to sell your home. While this does give some idea of the price you might get for your house, it’s not necessarily the best indicator of which company is best for you. Don’t base your decision solely on the agent that values your property the highest – while a high figure may sound tempting, an agent may over-value your property to get your business.

This can backfire in the long-term, as it will take longer to sell and you may end up having to drop the selling price. Achieved asking prices and selling times are generally better indicators. Read our how much is your house worth?[2] guide for more details on valuing your home.


Quoted selling fees

High street estate agents usually charge a percentage of the final price as their fee. This percentage can vary depending on where you live, the size of your house, market conditions and whether you are using a sole or multiple agents. Online estate agents tend to offer packages with a fixed-price, upfront fee.

Our guide to online estate agents[3] explains the pros and cons of this system. Remember that you can sometimes haggle estate agent fees, as they won’t want to lose your business. So don’t choose your agent based simply on the lowest quoted fees, instead choose the agent you want and try to negotiate.

Head to our guide to estate agent fees and contracts[4] for our advice on negotiating your contract.

3. The types of property they’ve sold before

Only 31% of sellers used this comparison to choose their estate agent, but agents with experience in selling homes similar to yours will know what your potential buyers are looking for. A good way to start your research is to look for similar properties to yours on the market in the area and find out which estate agents they are being marketed through.

As well as knowing how your property compares to others on the market, they may also have a decent pool of prospective buyers on their books. Our new high street estate agent comparison tool[5], developed in conjunction with GetAgent, compares high street estate agents in your local area by the types of property they’ve sold before, as well as achieved asking prices and selling times. Scroll down to check your area.


Comparing reviews of estate agents

It’s always helpful to get word-of-mouth feedback before committing to an estate agent. Speak to your neighbours to find out their experiences of local estate agents, both from a selling and buying perspective. There’s a lot you’ll need to know about about the services estate agents offer before making a final decision, so use our checklist of questions to ask your estate agent[6] to make sure you’re fully informed.


Achieved asking prices

Whether or not estate agents have achieved the asking prices they’ve set in the past is a good way to judge whether they have a tendency to initially over-value properties. So an estate agent that regularly completes a sale at the property’s asking price may be more likely to price your home realistically. Properties that are initially priced too highly put potential buyers off, so they can take around an extra two months to sell, which is an extra stress for you.

Check which agents have achieved the most asking prices in your area in our new comparison tool below.

6. Selling times

If you’re on a deadline and need to move quickly, past selling times could can be a good indicator of the estate agent to choose. Agents who value properties correctly, have a good pool of potential buyers and are able to negotiate between buyer and seller, can sell houses quickly and help the process go smoothly.

Compare estate agents in your local area

Our new, free comparison tool, developed with estate agent comparison service GetAgent, compares high street estate agents based on past performance on their average time to sell, the number of similar properties recently sold and the percentage of asking price achieved.

Use GetAgent’s tool for free by providing a few details about your property, or read more about how it works. Use of the service is governed by the terms and conditions of GetAgent, which will process your details in accordance with its privacy policy.[7][8]

Need a mortgage for your new home?

If you’re moving house and would like personal advice on the best mortgage for your new property, call Which? Mortgage Advisers[9] on 0808 252 7987.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage. Which? Limited is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Which?

Financial Services Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 527029). Which? Mortgage Advisers and Which?

Money Compare are trading names of Which?

Financial Services Limited.


  1. ^ high street estate agent comparison tool. (
  2. ^ how much is your house worth? (
  3. ^ online estate agents (
  4. ^ estate agent fees and contracts (
  5. ^ high street estate agent comparison tool (
  6. ^ checklist of questions to ask your estate agent (
  7. ^ how it works (
  8. ^ privacy policy. (
  9. ^ Which?

    Mortgage Advisers (