Saying Yes to Winter Selling

With US inflation figures and interest rates increasing, Australian inflation is now a serious concern and the Reserve Bank will have little choice but to stagger interest rate increases.

It is widely anticipated that these incremental increases will continue through the rest of the calendar year and possibly beyond. This puts downward pressure on property prices and creates a buyers’ market.

Many investors and home owners have seen 20% plus increases in the last 12 months, so if you are wanting to use the very high prices gained to capitalise, winter is an attractive time to get in early and not be caught up with the large Spring listing period.

Spring is notoriously the time when we see a lot of properties hit the market. But, let’s face it, Australia has a pretty mild autumn and winter season compared to elsewhere where there can be snow and ice. So, if you have your property for sale during winter, you could be on a winner, with less competition because many sellers opt for spring selling.

Benefits of Winter Selling

Limited Inventory

Selling during winter, there will be limited inventory available, driving up demand amongst more motivated buyers. Remember people buy property at all times of the year. Getting ahead of the flood of properties hitting the market in spring can be a bonus with buyers still looking, but less properties on show. Creating a prime opportunity for you, as buyers compete more furiously to secure a home.

Get Closer to Your Asking Price

With fewer options available, pricing your property correctly and displaying it to its full potential, means winter buyers are less likely to negotiate the price down. They won’t want to miss out on a great home at a fair price. Remember, potential buyers out and about to an open for inspection on a rainy day, are generally highly motivated and ready to buy. 

Highlight Energy Efficiency

Winter is a great time to highlight your home’s energy efficiency with your property feeling extra warm and cosy, so selling your house in winter can show off the home at its most inviting and welcoming with an open fire or ducted heating. It’s important that your home is warm, but don’t have it too hot, as this can be uncomfortable for buyers during inspections.

Select the right agent

Selling in winter requires an agent who is flexible and can deal with wet weather by offering solutions on the day of an inspection or auction. This will be crucial for a successful sale. Real estate agents are experienced with selling properties in any season, and can provide additional tips and professional advice that can be beneficial, to keep the price hot in the cold weather.

Winter Staging Tips

First Impressions Count 

When selling, the importance of good first impressions cannot be underestimated. The exterior of the property is your first chance to impress. Pots of colourful winter flowers can add a vibrant lift to your garden. Avoid dull, depressing, messy outdoor areas. Ensure hedges are trimmed, bushes are pruned to remove dead foliage, leaves raked and lawns mowed.  

Warm and Inviting

Appeal to prospective buyer’s emotions by making your home a cosy haven when people come to inspect; with the heating on, or fireplace glowing, but ensure it is comfortably warm and not too hot. Warm coloured throw rugs and cushions on sofas, and bright doonas, or throws on beds make your home feel liveable, warm and inviting. Perhaps try evening inspections during winter to allow potential buyers to experience your home’s comfort against the winter chill.

Keep it Clean 

Set the tone with a tidy front garden, so remove dropped leaves and clean outdoor areas. Ensure family dirty shoes and wet clothes and coats are stored out of sight. Provide an umbrella stand, coat rack, and welcome mat outside the door for wiping shoes, to prevent winter dirt being tracked in to carpets and floors. You can even use a polite sign during open inspections asking for shoes to be removed to protect carpets from grime. This draws attention to your flooring, so is also a great way to highlight new carpets or just polished floorboards, also showing you are house proud. This can be a tick for prospective buyers who look for cleanliness on their list.

Keep it Light

Winter can produce darker days, so it’s important to ensure your home is bright and light. In winter, light can be as important as heat for getting the best winter selling results. For open inspections, pick a time of day when the sun is at its best to help maximise interior lighting.

Prospective buyers love to see the availability of natural light in a home, so optimise light by opening blinds and drapes and try re-configuring/removing extra furniture to make the space look lighter.

Also, clean windows are always essential when selling, but even more so in winter, so any sunlight can stream through. And, lights on at open inspections is also a ‘must-do’ in winter.

Make use of interior lighting

Make the most of artificial light by having lamps and lights on to help eliminate dark areas. A great tip to brighten your home is using mirrors effectively, placing them opposite windows to reflect light and open up the space.

Make Outdoor Living Spaces Winter Friendly

Potential buyers love multiple living options, so knowing they can use your outdoor areas all-year-round will be an added selling point. Be ready to show your outdoor area at its best and winter entertaining made easy with the addition of a fire pit or heaters, or even a pizza oven to grab interest. Pots of winter blooms can add colour and pizzazz. Plus a few warm, colourful winter throws over outside chairs can make your outdoor area more enticing.

Take care of home repairs

It’s critical to have all minor repairs completed when selling a property, as most prospective buyers will take this into account when making an offer. Winter can pose its own issues, so if you have any leaking tiles or gutters, repair them. Likewise, if there are any areas where mould is prevalent ensure you have it treated and re-painted so it is fresh and clean.

It’s really up to you

Don’t let the market dictate when you buy or sell, as it’s about your own personal and financial situation and when you are ready.

Selling your property during winter can be a bit more complex, but hey, the warmer weather also has its own challenges as well. By using these basic tips, your property can be warm and inviting and a refuge from the cold on a winter’s day.

Acknowledgements: Local agent finder, realestate.com.au, propertybuyer,