Does the idea of selling your house in winter leave you cold? You may have heard that winter is the worst time of the year to sell your home, but here at Dee Atkinson Harrison, we believe there are some surprising advantages to selling in winter.
While spring and summer may be the most popular seasons during which to sell, that doesn't mean putting your house on the market in winter is a no-no. Here's why.
Benefits of selling your home in winter
Although there's truth to the idea that fewer homes are put on the market during the winter months, don't let that put you off selling when the temperatures dip. Fewer homes equals less competition, which means your home has far more opportunity to stand out from the others than in the more popular summer months.
As well as having fewer properties to compete against, there's the added advantage that people who view properties in winter tend to be more serious about buying. It's unlikely, on a cold winter's day, that anyone will make the effort to go out to a home viewing unless it's something they're really serious about.
Due to these two factors, many properties listed in winter months sell more quickly than those listed in spring and summer. So if you do decide to list your home at this time of year, we have some tips for making the place look as good as possible, therefore giving it the best chance of selling quickly.
Top tips for selling your home in winter
Make your home look cosy.
Potential buyers will be walking in from the cold, so giving them the initial impression of a home that's warm, cosy and inviting is key. Most buyers will understand that properties look their best in summer months, so if it looks great in winter, they'll see even more potential for the rest of the year. If you have a fireplace, now's the time to get it roaring, and use throw blankets and cushions to add a sense of snugness to your space.
Pay more attention to the exterior.
Don't let the exterior of your house get drab and grey over the winter months. Keep plants tidy (consider adding some winter flowers, like pansies or cyclamen, to your entryway) and make sure that outside spaces are clean and free from old leaves and debris. Simple updates like a fresh coat of paint on your front door could make a huge difference to your home's curb appeal.
Keep the heating up!
As well as making your home look cosy, it also needs to feel warm and welcoming. Don't forget to keep the central heating on before and during viewings, so that potential buyers aren't shivering their way through your home.
Arrange viewings in daylight hours.
Wherever possible, arrange for potential buyers to see your home when there's natural light available. Although there's not much of it in winter, try to choose times during the middle of the day so viewers will see which rooms will get the most sunlight in the warmer months.
Light it up.
Even if you're showing your home during the day, it'll still be darker than it would be at any other time of the year, so turn on as many main lights and lamps as you can, and flood your home with a warm glow.
Follow your nose.
This advice is true at any time of the year, but in winter it's harder to open a window and get lovely fresh air flowing through the house. Be aware of the scents in your home, both the good and the bad. Make sure pets are kept away from your home on viewing days, and consider getting your carpets and curtains professionally cleaned so there are no lingering musty smells.
When using additional scents, such as air fresheners, remember that a little bit goes a long way. Some people are more sensitive to smells than others, so don't put off potential buyers with overpowering candles or incense.