Ask anyone what time of year is best to sell property, and the answer is usually “in Spring”. And of course this makes good sense as the weather is warm but not too hot, the flowers are blooming and there is a positive feeling in the air. So if this is the common consensus amongst homeowners then it follows that Spring is also the time of the year when there is the highest number of properties for sale.
Ask most real estate agents the same question and the answer may be somewhat bias depending on how many listings they have at that particular time. So we would like to shed some light on the topic and share our honest and unbiased view as someone who is on the ground day in, day out.
The truth is that it all comes down to a simple equation of supply and demand. If the market is flooded with Spring property listings, then the increase in competition can result in lower sale prices. If there are less properties for sale during Winter, but demand is still strong, then it means lower volumes but higher sale prices.
Buyers remain constant all year round – it’s the volume of stock that changes. So, if homeowners are waiting for what they believe to be the peak selling season in Spring, there is far less competition during Winter. Those buyers visiting open homes during Winter are usually more genuine, better qualified, and motivated to buy. Perhaps they 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.
Before you rush out to list your property for a Winter Sale, here are 5 things you need to think about.
- Aspect – Does your property have a south facing yard? Does it remain damp during winter due to a lack of sunlight? Not every property will be suited to a Winter sale. If this sounds like you, perhaps you could consider cutting back trees and shrubs to let in more sunlight.
- Heating – Make sure your home is warm & cosy during open homes 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 table and floor lamps to create multiple and warm light sources that create 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. It also helps to draw attention to your flooring, which is helpful if you’ve just installed new carpeting or floorboards.
The reality is when there are less open homes to attend on a Saturday, buyers will be less rushed and have more time to wander around your home and imagine themselves living there.
And if you’re still not convinced, Winter is also a great time to sell because 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.
If you’d like to know whether your property is suited to a Winter sale, please contact the team at djw property on 9544 9688.