Uncertainty over mortgage rates and house prices mean would-be house sellers have some careful weighing-up to do. By Vicky Shaw.

Volatile mortgage rates and stuttering house price growth could make some would-be house sellers think twice about taking the plunge right now.

According to property website Rightmove, across Britain, the average price tag on a home coming to market fell by £905 month-on-month in July.

While trends will vary depending on where someone lives, the market generally appears more subdued than it was during the frenzied “race for space” previously seen during the coronavirus pandemic.

The key to clinching a sale may be to make sure your house is priced correctly in the first place, so it doesn’t sit on the market looking “stale”.

And with mortgage rates having jumped in recent months, it’s also important to be realistic about what you can afford to pay for your next home.

Rightmove property expert Tim Bannister says: “The key for sellers who know what they can afford and are coming to market right now is that they need listen to their agent and price realistically for this more normal market.”

He adds: “Pricing right first time will help sellers have the best chance of finding a buyer.”

There may also be some silver linings in the current market for sellers.

While they may find there’s less competition to buy their home, they may also be competing against fewer buyers themselves for the property they want to move into.

Bannister adds: “It’s taking around three weeks longer on average to find a buyer than this time last year, so it’s not the frenzied market that some sellers were too cautious to enter, and means they should have more time to look for their onward purchase.

“They could also find that there is more room for negotiation than a year ago on the home they want to trade up to.”

Nathan Emerson, CEO of property professionals’ body Propertymark, points out that house prices have already surged in recent years, so many homeowners will still be making an overall gain.

He adds that “a strong number” of property valuations are still taking place.

Richard Donnell, executive director at property website Zoopla, says: “The rise in mortgage rates has dented buyer demand but sales are still being agreed.”

He continues: “Summer isn’t the optimal time to list a home for sale and we normally see more homes coming to the market in September when there is a likelihood rates will be lower than they are now, which will support demand this autumn.”

Ultimately, it will be up to homeowners to weigh up factors such as whether they have a pressing need to move right now, how much equity they have in their property, what their mortgage situation is and what’s happening in their local housing market. What’s the right decision for one person may not be right for someone else.

Donnell adds: “If you are serious about moving in 2023 then you should chat to an agent about the value of your home and get tips on the current market and how to get your home ready to list in September. The more realistic the pricing of a home, the more likely it is to sell.”