BLOG: ‘Don’t delay’ now is the time for vendors to go for it

Paul Hilton of ESPC explains why, even in a slightly slower market, agents should sell this as a time to sell.

Paul Hilton - ESPC homeowners

Homeowners who are considering moving on to a new property in 2024 are in a powerful position to influence the market, which shouldn’t be underestimated.

While the springtime is traditionally seen as a more favourable time to sell, it’s becoming apparent that choosing to list a property earlier in the year can have huge benefits for homeowners.

Cottoning on

It’s something that buyers and sellers are cottoning on to; ESPC saw higher levels of activity year-on-year during the first days of 2024, hinting that buyers may be engaging with the market in higher numbers, perhaps compounded by the lack of rental properties available, pushing people to buy instead.

Stock levels have increased on annually by 27%, showing how much choice there is for buyers at every level.

Despite this, according to our latest House Price Report, there is currently lots of competition in the market, even at a typically quieter time of the year.

We can confidently assume that this will only increase as we get closer to the spring.”

We can confidently assume that this will only increase as we get closer to the spring, and as we potentially begin to see lower interest rates and mortgage rates coming through.

In the current climate, and at this time of year, buyers tend to be more serious about making the right purchase. It might take slightly longer for buyers to make an offer, but as a seller, you can feel confident that the offers you receive have been carefully considered and that the buyer is very serious about your property.


There are clear signs that there are first-time buyers coming into the market in higher numbers too; our latest figures show that October was the busiest month of 2023 for flat sales, so sellers should capitalise on the opportunity of having plenty of interested buyers ready and waiting in the market.

Over the past few months, our data has been showing that the figure over valuation that buyers are paying is falling, and while that doesn’t appear to be good news for homeowners looking to sell, those who are vendors looking for their next property should think about it in terms of getting the best deal for their next home.

Our data currently looks very positive for sellers.”

In terms of marketing your property and the price you can expect to achieve, our data currently looks very positive for sellers.

While there was a trend towards fixed-price properties towards the latter half of 2023 which might deter some sellers from acting, our recent data suggests that over 80% of sellers chose to market their home using the ‘offers over’ pricing model during October-December, and on average they achieved 7.2% above their property’s asking price at sale.

Great time

Also, the number of closing dates is currently falling, indicating that sellers are happy to accept a good offer rather than wait for competition to build – meaning that now is a great time to buy.

And of course, the market is a cycle – there are only properties on the market if sellers choose to put them there. So, sellers need to show faith in the market to keep things moving.


Much of the market is made up of homeowners looking to sell their current home and make an onward purchase, even if the headline focus is always tilted towards first-time buyers.

While the market likely won’t reach the heights we saw post-Covid, it is becoming increasingly stable, and homeowners primed to act quickly can make the most of that with their onward property purchase.

Paul Hilton is CEO of Scottish property portal ESPC

Read more about the housing market.

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