7 reasons people sell houses – and what it means for buyers

spring house sale

Spring is commonly seen as the peak season for real estate, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best time to sell (or buy), explains OBrien Chelsea director Stavros Ambatzidis.

There is a perception that you have to sell your property in the “right season” – traditionally spring, when blooming flowers and sunshine can (quite literally) make homes sparkle.

But in reality it’s circumstance – and not the time of the year – that has more impact on vendors’ decisions to sell.

So what are the main reasons people sell their houses, and what does it mean for buyers?


Family changes

Marriages, births and shifts in family sizes are major catalysts for selling homes.

In our area of bayside Melbourne, we see many owner-occupiers wanting to move to a bigger house to accommodate their growing families.

At the other end of the spectrum are older couples or parents whose kids have left home – they suddenly find themselves rattling around in a big, labour-intensive house and want to downsize to something more manageable.

Job and lifestyle changes

Moving jobs, particularly when it’s an interstate or international transfer, is another big reason to sell.

This type of sale often has to happen quickly, as the vendor will need to move out and then find a home at their new location.

A sea change or a tree change can spur the decision to sell.


There are some sadder reasons people are forced to sell properties, such as divorce or death.

Financial hardship is another motivation for selling, particularly when it is putting a strain on relationships. Maybe they vendor has lost their job, their business has hit strife, or they are living beyond their means and need to cut back on debts.



If an investor has bought their property through self-managed superannuation, they may want to liquefy the money so they can retire.

Time to flip

Some investors buy properties with the express intention of renovating and reselling once they’re finished.

Tax purposes

If an investor originally bought the property as a new build, they may want to sell once depreciation is exhausted.

Building projects

Builders or developers need to sell once they’ve finished their project, because that’s where they get their income.

So what does this tell us about selling?

The point is that many of these reasons for selling don’t wait for spring – they can happen at any time of the year, and sometimes very suddenly.

You can’t always predict when life events will happen.

If you’re a buyer, this means that you should be keeping your eyes on the market all year round, because you never know when a real gem will hit the market.

If you’re selling, it means you don’t need to get too hung up on waiting for spring to sell your property.

In fact, other seasons can be even better because supply tends to be lower – so you’ll have less competition on the market.

More than ever, it’s important to understand that it’s always a good time to sell.

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