David Alexander's reader advice column in The Sunday Times

Q. I have just learned that my job is to be relocated, almost immediately, from Glasgow to London. I am minded to sell my flat - it is in a nice new development on the south side of the city. My question is, should I let it for six months and then market in May, or do you think that the return will be just as good it I market it in early January?

LN Glasgow

A. Normally I would advise people to put a property on the market in January – if possible – because contrary to popular perceptions, this is actually a very good month in which to sell a house. Having said that, May is also a good selling month so there would be advantages too in obtaining some rental income and then putting the house on the market in the summer.

Unfortunately, these are not normal times; 2008 is likely to be a very difficult year for the housing market and I fear that things will get worse before they get better. So, on balance, January is probably your better option in the circumstances you relate, as there may be less potential buyers around if you delay putting the flat on the market until the summer.

Alternatively, if you do not need to buy a home in London, an option worth considering would be to let out the Glasgow flat for 12 to 24 months, by which time, hopefully, the current credit crisis may have blown over.

The Sunday Times, 13 January, 2008