Advantages of home selling in winter
WHEN it comes to selling a home, many people assume winter is the worst possible time to enter the market. After all, the days are short and cold, gardens are suffering, and damp can be a real issue; it stands to reason that most homes won’t be looking as good as they do in warmer seasons.
This is according to Tony Clarke, Managing Director of the Rawson Property Group, who says winter can, however, be an excellent time to sell a home.
When you’re selling a house, you’re competing with other houses that are showing at the same time, not with other houses showing in a warmer, dryer, brighter season.
Clarke says buyers choose a property by comparison, no matter the season, so while your home might not look as inviting as it does in summer, it only needs to be more inviting than other properties on offer in order to sell well.
“The good thing about this is that in winter there tends to be far less competition, so it’s much easier to position your home as the most attractive option, especially if you’re willing to put in a little bit of effort on show days.”
Clarke says you may wonder if buyers stop looking for property in winter. Doesn’t demand dramatically decrease in colder months, and prices drop accordingly?
Sellers definitely get fewer windowshoppers because people are less likely to visit show houses for fun when it’s cold and rainy, but that can work in your favour, since those who do come are almost guaranteed to be serious buyers, he says.
“It can be smart to house hunt in winter; if you like a house when it’s cold and dark, you’ll probably love it when it’s bright and sunny, plus you’ll know how comfortable it is in winter.”
Clarke says sales prices have much more to do with demand, availability and the amount of repair or renovation your house might need than they do with the season you happen to be selling in.
There have been international studies that have shown properties on sale in winter to sell more quickly, and for higher prices, than similar listings in summer.
To show your house to its best advantage in winter, and compete effectively against other properties, Clarke recommends a few simple tricks to create a warm and inviting environment:
Let the light and warmth in Open all your curtains and blinds and turn on a light or two in every room.
He says a bright house is a cheerful house, and that counts twice as much in winter.
Running a heater or lighting a fire to take the chill out of the air also helps, as do clean and uncluttered spaces with a few vases of fresh flowers placed here and there to add life and colour.
“Make sure you put fresh towels in the bathrooms to avoid damp or musty smells, and clean away any mouldy marks on your tile grout, walls or ceilings.”
Prepare your garden In your garden, plant winter-blooming flowers a few weeks or months before you plan to sell. If you don’t have time to prepare in advance, Clarke says you can place flowering pots in strategic positions.
“It’s also important to keep grass and hedges trimmed and rake up any stray leaves. A winter garden doesn’t have to be dishevelled, and it can do wonders to brighten up the first impressions of a property.”
He says approached correctly, selling your house in winter can be a smart choice which allows you to stand out from the crowd far more than you might in summer.