8 reasons to sell in winter
While the traditional spring selling period may see the bulk of sales, there are plenty of reasons why winter can be a great time to sell property. Stock levels are at seasonal lows, meaning more competition between buyers, who despite the cold are still out in force and typically highly motivated.
When added to the fact that some properties present better in the winter, and auctions and house moves are much easier in cooler temperatures, the arguments start to stack up for a sale at this time of year, as we’ve outlined below.
Buyers are active year-round
While there may be a school of thought that it is better to hold off selling until spring when there may be more buyers around, in reality, buyers are active year-round. Stock levels fluctuate, not buyers.
Just like vendors opt to sell as their circumstances dictate, buyers also typically base their decision on their savings and unique circumstances. So, if they are ready to buy, they won’t let the season hold them back.
Ultimately, it’s less about selling at a particular time of year and more about presenting your property to appeal to the maximum level of buyers.
More serious buyers
Winter separates the browsers from the buyers. Who would trudge in and out of property inspections on a cold or wet Saturday if they weren’t committed to finding their next home? Winter reduces the amount of time spent dealing with buyers who are just getting a feel for the market or are not yet ready to purchase.
Buyers in winter are usually highly motivated and likely to have all their financial ducks in a row— including being pre-approved for a mortgage—which also increases the likelihood of receiving serious offers on your property.
Less stock and more competition
There are generally fewer properties on the market in winter, compared to spring when the market can be flooded with stock giving buyers endless options.
Less stock means less choice for buyers, which increases demand and competition for properties. This not only boosts the likelihood of a sale but also of securing the price you want.
You might get a better price
If you’ve priced and presented your home correctly, selling in winter can get you a higher price.
With fewer properties to choose from, winter buyers can be less likely to negotiate the price down to avoid missing out. When there is more stock on the market, buyers are more likely to have a couple of properties they are interested in, potentially leading to more protracted price negotiations.
Some houses show better
Some homes come into their own in winter, exuding a cosiness that proves more inviting to buyers than at other times of the year. Fireplaces or wood combustion stoves help buyers imagine gathering around them on a cold winter night, similarly, a hot tub can also be highly appealing at this time of year.
If you have invested in your home’s energy efficiency to reduce winter heating bills, now is a good time to highlight this to buyers so they can see how they could reap the benefits of your investment.
Professionals are less busy
The many professionals involved in property transactions, such as mortgage brokers, conveyancers, removalists, and building and pest inspectors are typically less busy during the winter months. This makes it easier to get appointments and bookings and smooths the way for a seamless transaction and move.
Some companies may also be more open to negotiating on price in order to secure business during the quieter season.
More comfortable moves and auctions
Ever moved house at the height of summer or on an unseasonably hot day? Or got sunburnt during a protracted and shade-less outdoor auction? Neither makes for a pleasant experience. A winter sale avoids such sweat-drenched events, making for a more comfortable experience for all involved (your removalists in particular will thank you).
Ideal time to upgrade or downsize
If you are looking to upgrade or downsize from your current home, and if timing and circumstances permit, selling your home in winter frees you up ready to focus on securing your next property when more stock comes onto the market in spring. This helps avoid the pressure of managing the sale of your current property at the same time as trying to find and secure your next one.
The best strategy to prepare for a winter sale is to use a seasoned agent. Our agents know the ins and outs of selling property and can provide guidance and insight to help you capitalise on the current market, along with access to our network’s large national buyer database.
Speak to your local Hockingstuart office today for more advice and assistance with your winter sale, including an obligation-free appraisal of your home’s current value.