If you think Winter is the worst time for selling your home because it’s cold, rainy and the garden looks bare, you’re not alone. Most homeowners prefer to wait for Spring because it’s warmer, the gardens are in bloom, and according to real estate agents it’s “the peak selling period”. Whilst there definitely are higher volumes of sales made during Spring, increased stock levels does not always equate to higher prices.
The truth is – it all comes down to a simple equation of supply and demand. If there are less properties for sale during Winter, but demand is still strong, then it means lower volumes but higher sale prices and vice versa for Spring.
Buyers visiting open homes during Winter are usually more genuine, better qualified, and motivated to buy. They may have already sold their property earlier in the year. Perhaps they have been renting until they find their next home. Whatever their circumstance, there are generally less tyre kickers at this time of year.
However, not every property is suited to a Winter sale. Here are our Top 5 things you should consider:
- Aspect – Does your property have a south facing yard? Does it remain damp during winter due to a lack of sunlight? If this sounds like you, perhaps you could cut back some trees and shrubs to let in more sunlight.
- Heating – Make sure your home is warm & cosy during property inspections by switching on the heating or firing up the fireplace. Snug pieces of relaxed-style furniture, such as oversized floor cushions, designer beanbags and ottomans, all add a cosy element. Fire pits are also on the rise for the outdoor winter garden or courtyard. If your home is cold and unwelcoming buyers will think twice about coming back.
- Lighting – Avoid cool fluorescent lights in favour of warm yellow lights, and have both table and floor lamps to create multiple and warm light sources creating a cosy and inviting environment.
- Clean windows & gutters – Clean windows will maximise how much sunlight can enter which is critical during a winter sale. Ensure you time the open homes perfectly to maximise daylight to the property. Cleaning out roof gutters is also important as the last thing you want on a rainy day is for buyers to have to navigate their way through a waterfall to enter the house.
- Prepare for wet weather – Winter is notorious for rainy Saturdays so it’s a good idea to be prepared in advance. Provide an umbrella stand, coat rack, and welcome mat outside the door to prevent drips and mud being tracked in onto the carpet. Request the agent prepare a sign asking buyers to remove their shoes when they enter the home, to protect carpets. This shows buyers that you take care of the property and leaves a positive impression.
So if you’re thinking of selling during a post COVID Winter, the best part is it enables you to buy in the traditionally busy Spring period, when more homes are listed for sale. With your sale done and dusted, you’ll have an exact budget to work with, and potentially pick up a property for less than you expected.
P.S. Don’t forget the hand sanitiser….
As Sellers Advocates, we provide advice on how to maximise the sale price of your home no matter what time of the year it is. Click here to find out more…. or contact us on 0411 522233