How to make sure your home sells during the winter
NAEA offers advice for sellers putting their property on the market in winter
DURING the winter, the housing market is renowned for being slower, with many people holding off on selling their property until the spring. However, by incorporating a few simple tips, sellers can make their properties look and feel more attractive, increasing the chance of receiving an offer during the winter, says the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA). Martyn Baum, president of National Association of Estate Agents, said: ‘ Traditionally, properties are harder to sell during the winter. It’s dark and cold, and while homes don’t look as attractive, we’re less inclined to be proactive and search for a property – and this can leave sellers feeling in a stalemate position, waiting for the spring to kick in. Your estate agent should be well equipped to adapt to selling homes in these quieter periods but you can start by making changes as small as turning on a light or clearing out clutter.’ The NAEA’s top tips for those looking to sell their property during winter are as follows: First impressions count: The first seconds upon arriving at a property really impact the buyer’s decisions, so clear your front entrance of any winter weather damage. Winter can make the front garden and paths look dull and dirty, so ensuring these are clean and clear of leaves will improve the attractiveness of the property. Bright and beautiful: Ensure your home is well lit. This means simply checking all the bulbs are working prior to a viewing and switching them on, including any outdoor lighting. You’ll know which lighting looks best in your home so work with this, especially when viewings run into the evening. During the day you can make the most of natural light by ensuring all blinds and curtains are fully open and clutter is moved out of the way. Warm and friendly: It’s important to make your house feel warm and homely. It will encourage potential buyers to stay longer and to be able to visualise themselves living in the home. Smell is also important and each home smells different, so in order to not risk putting buyers off, freshen up your property. Open the windows prior to the viewing to let some fresh air circulate – unless it’s freezing – and display some freshly- cut flowers. The old cliché of fresh bread or roasting coffee really does work as well. It is also advisable to accentuate any features that are particularly important in the winter such as a fireplace, which can be a real selling point of a home.