Feature by Maria Stokes
Although some might say that trying to sell your home during winter is a bad idea, our experience of the winter market tells a different story, one which has a happy ending for our sellers.
Without doubt, selling your property during winter comes with some set backs. For one, gardens won’t be seen at their full potential, which may also affect your kerb appeal. And, if your agent will be carrying out your viewings for you, the weather outside may make leaving your home for a walk or visit to the park with the kids a little unappealing.
But that said, there are far more reasons to list your property in the winter than to not.
Winter Buyers Are Motivated
There’s something about the cold weather and dark early evenings that seems to filter out those buyers who are not really serious. These potential home buyers who are ‘just looking’ are not so likely to leave the home during cold or bad weather to browse houses for the sake of it, which means the prospective viewers coming through your door during these months tend to be serious, motivated and ready to buy.
With the surge in the property market over the last 18 months, there are many vendors out there sold subject to contract, but struggling to find their next home with supply beginning to diminish. Other serious potential purchasers may be looking for property due to a change of circumstances, their living situation may have changed abruptly, or they need to move due to a job change. Whatever the reason, their hunt for a new home is often necessary and sometimes urgent.
You’re More Likely to Achieve Asking Price or Higher
During the winter months supply levels tend to be a little lower, with less choice for buyers during this season. So, unless your property is priced wrong, selling during the winter could actually see you achieve a higher selling price, as there is high demand for each individual property. Your house will certainly gain the right kind of attention if it is priced competitively and presented well, as winter purchasers are less likely to try and negotiate a lower price due to the fear of losing out to a better offer from someone else. We’ve found during the summer months, when supply levels are higher, buyers tend to have more properties they are interested in, and therefore feel more inclined to negotiate the price or terms of the sale.
There’s Fewer Properties to Compete With
Many vendors aim to sell springtime when the market is saturated, with potential buyers having possibly 30+ properties to choose from. However, during the winter months the choice falls by 30%, when there may only be 10 or 12 properties suitable for their needs. With buyers having less options, your property faces less competition and could become a strong contender for several potential purchasers, which could push your offers up if a bidding war were to develop.
New Year, New Home
January tends to bring many personal changes. People who had thought about moving the previous year, will be more inclined to put thoughts into action during January. The start of the new year is often the time people take on a new job too. Larger corporations tend to make personnel changes and open up new job positions at the beginning of the year. With this brings relocations, and these movers are looking to get settled quickly. Their goal will be to move once, enrol children into new schools and get their lives back to a new normal as soon as possible – which makes them great buyers.
Your Home May Show Better in Winter
Some homes just seem to have that cosy warm feeling. It may be down to interior design, the character of the house or even the architecture. But big fireplaces, log burners, lit lamps and candles, soft blankets, cushions and throws, along with that warm feeling as you enter in out of the cold, wind and rain, can only be appreciated during the winter months. In addition, homes that struggle with natural light are better marketed during the winter, as they’ll appear cosy during the darker months with lamps switched on. Whereas the summer months can highlight just how dark a house can feel after coming in from bright sunshine, which doesn’t manage to flood through the windows.
You’ll Be Your Agent’s Top Priority
As winter tends to be the slower season, your agent will be managing less properties during this time, so you’ll be their top priority. Your home will be put forward to every potential purchaser, you’ll receive more attention, be listed in all the right places and it will definitely be showcased in the best light possible.
If you’re thinking of selling, why not try listing this winter? You have nothing to lose! And, it could really improve your chances of selling your home. Yes, there may be fewer potential buyers, but they will be serious about purchasing your home.
For your free, no obligation valuation contact your local Arden branch.