Pros and cons of buying a home in spring
IF you ask around, people will give you pros and cons for selling your home in any season, but the fact remains that market activity is invariably highest in spring and early summer.
While this does have some downsides for buyers and sellers, it also presents a wide array of opportunities, says Tony Clarke, Managing Director of the Rawson Property Group.
“Spring is all about new beginnings and getting a head start on future plans,” says Clarke.
“It’s an ‘out with the old, in with the new’ kind of season, and that goes for more than just spring cleaning.”
He says for a lot of people, those first few weeks of sunny days and longer evenings are exactly the trigger they need to make a move on finding a new home.
“We see dramatically more buyers hitting the market place with the onset of spring,” he says. “Part of this is almost certainly the psychological effect of the warmer weather, but it’s also because there are a lot of new properties being listed, and it is just more fun going house hunting in the sun. Homes are brighter, gardens are more colourful, and everything is fresh and green. Clarke says it’s also an ideal time to think about what you’ll be needing in the new year, and what you can afford with expected bonuses and annual increases on the way.” More buyers on the market does mean more contenders for properties, however, and Clarke warns that spring purchases tend to be faster-paced and more competitive than in other seasons. “Buyers in spring are definitely well advised to get pre-qualified by a bond originator,” he says.
“This will give them an accurate idea of what they can afford, and also strengthen any offers they decide to make, giving them a better chance of being accepted over other buyers if they need to compete for a property that they love.”
Sellers, of course, tend to enjoy this kind of buyer rivalry as it often means faster sales and higher prices at the end of the day. However, since there are also more properties going up for sale during spring, Clarke says they could find themselves facing an equally competitive marketplace.
“I always advise sellers to remember that you aren’t competing with the best house in your neighbourhood,” says Clarke.
“You’re competing with the best house in your neighbourhood that’s on sale at the same time as yours. If there are only a few neighbouring homes for sale, as is often the case in winter, there’s a good chance that you’ll compare favourably and capture the attention of buyers.”
If there are numerous homes on sale, however, he says you may find yourself having to work a little harder.
Thankfully, spring weather tends to make this fairly easy.
“Make use of the good weather to neaten and brighten up your garden, and enhance your curb appeal with some attractive landscaping,” says Clarke.
“A fresh coat of paint on your home’s exterior and new varnish on your wooden windows can also go a very long way towards improving the appeal of your home.”
Clarke says he recommends getting into the spring cleaning groove and making sure your interior is decluttered and sparkling.
“Steam-clean your carpets, dryclean your curtains and dust all those nooks and crannies that get forgotten during winter’s gloom,” he says.
“Also make sure all your fixtures and fittings are in good working order and that everything looks well cared for and clean.”
All things told, and despite its competitive nature, Clarke says spring is an ideal season for buyers and sellers.
“The variety of opportunities available on both sides of the equation almost always outweigh the challenges of greater competition,” says Clarke.
“With a little bit of research and the right preparation, a spring sale can be good for everyone involved.”
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