There are many reasons why people put their property on the market. Usually, it is to move up the housing ladder to a larger home to cater for a growing family, says Barry Cashin.
It could be a job move or family reasons such as death, divorce or separation. Or it could simply be a matter of wanting a different lifestyle in another part of the country.
Phil Tennant, regional sales director for Hamptons International, says that among the more common reasons for moving are child's schooling, divorce and friends who have bought together but have now fallen out with each other.
He adds: "There are also situations where people have become property owners through inheritance or investors looking to change strategy, deciding that a certain kind of property is no longer useful in their portfolio."
Whatever the reason for wanting to sell, it is true that in times when property prices are not so buoyant, one of the prime motivators is either to realise equity and downsize, or just get away from a financial situation which has become untenable. Only the seller truly knows the personal reason why they want to move, but the question is, just when is the right time?
How to analyse the market
Most people have a pretty good idea about whether the market is suiting buyers or sellers at any given snapshot moment in an economic cycle. The media is also full of constant reports about the state of the national property market, good, bad or indifferent. But there are always geographic exceptions to the general trend and there is no better person to seek advice from than a good, local estate agent.
Many towns and cities are bolstered against the effects of national trends because of their location, the amenities they offer, their transport links, or because of investment in infrastructure. Take, for example, the Olympic site around Stratford, London, where property sales, although slower than the peak months following the successful bid, still enjoy a healthy turnaround when the general market overview has been on the negative side.
An excellent way of monitoring the market is to review specialist sites such as PrimeLocation property news, where respected experts provide regular market updates, analysis and opinion. Local newspaper property pages are also a good source of information indicating the way prices are moving in any given area. Combining this research with the knowledge of estate agents and the pool of other useful information available on the internet, today's homeowner can be pretty sure how buoyant the market is locally and whether now is the best time to sell.
And as they say in the world of property, there is only one good time to sell, and that is now.
Some information contained herein may have changed since it was first published. PrimeLocation strongly advises you to seek current legal and/or financial advice from a qualified professional.