Experience shows that the next few months are often the busiest for real estate agents.

From November through to January, there is often a rush by homebuyers and tenants to get their accommodation sorted for work, family, schooling or business by the new year. This might mean finalising a purchase or putting a property on the market.

This year the slowdown in the property market and low consumer sentiment are making buyers reluctant to make a move until they have greater confidence about price growth, rental yields and general economic conditions.

REIWA data shows there are about 11,100 properties on the market, which is perhaps about 1000 fewer than we might typically expect but this stock is trending up and is about 2200 more properties than this time last year.

People are taking time to look and decide on a purchase, with the number of days on market now close to 60.

However, the market is ticking over, largely with trade-up buyers moving or downsizing.

Most home-loan providers now require at least three or four weeks as the banking industry improves its application processes to ensure prudent borrowing.

If you are thinking of selling your home, it generally makes sense to get it on the market well before Christmas but by the second half of December you can expect the market to go quiet until late January when it tends to pick up.

Successful sellers should allow some extra time for settlement.

Usually five weeks is enough between the contract of sale and the settlement date but Christmas and new-year holidays may cause delays with things such as building inspections and termite clearances. It’s wise to leave about seven weeks for the settlement period.

Given market conditions, it’s very important that a home is priced correctly to solicit genuine offers and facilitate a smooth sale.

Current market conditions highlight where the skills and experience of professional real estate agents become invaluable.

For more information, visit reiwa.com.

© The West Australian