Tricks for sell­ing dur­ing win­ter

George Herald - Private Property - - Property News -

The skies are dark and omi­nous, the floors are icy and wet, and the 'For Sale' sign is drip­ping in the drive­way in front of your poorly at­tended show house. Sell­ing in win­ter cer­tainly has its draw­backs. But, on the plus side, says Adrian Goslett, re­gional di­rec­tor and CEO of RE/MAX of South­ern Africa, there are usu­ally fewer prop­er­ties on the mar­ket this time of year, which means that you might be able to sell faster and fetch a bet­ter price than you would have done if you had waited for sum­mer like ev­ery­one else.

"The sea­son­al­ity of sales is a bit of a fal­lacy. Over the last few years some of our best sales months have oc­curred be­tween May and Au­gust," says Goslett. But, if you are go­ing to put your prop­erty on the mar­ket dur­ing the snug­gle sea­son, then you need to be aware of cer­tain prac­ti­cal­i­ties. For starters, buy­ers' habits change ac­cord­ing to the weather.

"Prop­er­ties that go on the mar­ket dur­ing the win­ter months will gen­er­ally re­ceive less phys­i­cal traf­fic and more on­line at­ten­tion. Fewer peo­ple will at­tend show days in favour of stay­ing warm and cosy at their own homes in­stead. To lure view­ers out of their homes when it's cold and rainy, buy­ers need to en­sure that their on­line list­ing is re­ally en­tic­ing by post­ing high-qual­ity photos and men­tion­ing all the ex­tra fea­tures in the de­scrip­tion. So­cial me­dia mar­ket­ing can also be very ef­fec­tive in this re­gard," Goslett ex­plains.

Warm wel­come

The next thing sell­ers need to con­sider is how to stage the home for when buy­ers come to view the prop­erty. For starters, make sure there is a wel­come mat for view­ers to wipe their shoes be­fore track­ing mud through your home.

On par­tic­u­larly wet days, have a towel at your front door so that view­ers can dry off be­fore they see the rest of your prop­erty.

It is also a good idea to make sure you have a box of tis­sues avail­able in case any of the view­ers has a case of the snif­fles.

Next, sell­ers should try and make the space feel as warm and cosy as pos­si­ble. Goslett sug­gests that you switch on a heater or light a fire be­fore the view­ers ar­rive so that the space is al­ready warm for when they get there. On cloudy days, homes can also feel dark and dingy. By turn­ing on some lights and light­ing a few can­dles, sell­ers can cre­ate a warm glow that makes the space more ap­peal­ing.

Fi­nally, Goslett says, the way to a buyer's heart in win­ter is through their taste buds. "The clichéd trick of hav­ing freshly baked cook­ies come out of the oven be­fore view­ers ar­rive can be par­tic­u­larly ef­fec­tive dur­ing the win­ter months. Not only does the heat from the oven help to warm up the space, but the aroma also makes the home feel more invit­ing. Sell­ers could also give their es­tate agent per­mis­sion to of­fer the view­ers a hot bev­er­age upon ar­rival.

The longer a viewer spends in a home, the bet­ter. In the time it takes for them to fin­ish their hot choco­late, your agent might have bought enough time to con­vince the view­ers to pur­chase the prop­erty."

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