There is a widely held belief that selling a house or flat in winter is a difficult and often unsuccessful task – especially before Christmas. Not true, say those venerable people at Rightmove. According to their statistics, there are actually more people carrying out property searches during the winter months.
In fact, several studies show that, on average, homes listed during this time are more likely to sell, sell more quickly, and sell closer to the asking price.
There are some distinct advantages to selling in winter, not least because of the popular myth mentioned above. Because many sellers wait until spring to list their properties, there are fewer properties on the market during November to February. This means less competition for sellers, making it easier for prospective buyers to find your property, which in turn increases demand from serious buyers.
Is selling my home in winter a good move?
Buyers tend to be more determined in winter. There are fewer “casual” browsers, uncommitted to the idea of moving. So you can be confident that viewers are serious about your home and have the wherewithal to make an offer. And the holiday season often means that buyers have more time to research and view properties. Rightmove reported increasing interest through November and December last year, rising to over 1.2 million users on Boxing Day. This surge of interest is well known in the estate agency industry as “the Boxing Day Bounce” – as buyers look to move into new homes early in the new year.
Indeed, Rightmove’s research is borne out by our own experience here at House Fox.
“We’ve had a great deal of interest this winter,” said Managing Director Neil Urch. “In November alone we listed five million pounds worth of property, and had sales agreed on £3.2 million.”
What’s more, the quieter time of year could work in your favour when it comes to third parties. Solicitors, estate agents, surveyors and builders are typically less busy this time of year, and so might be able to help you push your sale through quicker than, for example, in the busier spring.
Tips for winter selling
Cosiness is a key selling point
It’s cold and grey out there, so make sure your home is as cosy as can be. Use warm colour throws and cushions on your furniture, and keep the heating on to make sure the house is warm. If you have a real fire have keep it laid ready for lighting. Switch on table lamps throughout the house and keep your curtains open before viewings to show buyers how cosy your house looks from the street.
Keep the garden tidy
Winter isn’t a great time for gardens, but make sure yours looks as good as it can by dead-heading flowering shrubs and clearing up the autumn leaves. Power wash the patio and paths and put away garden furniture.
There’s a golden rule for selling your home – clear up clutter. This goes for yuletide decorations too. Keep the trimmings tasteful. A nicely decorated tree is a great feature, but resist the temptation to throw everything at it – and avoid flashing lights at all cost. The same goes for outdoor decorations. While lining the eaves with a row of white lights, or festooning a tree with the same can be very welcoming, keep the inflatable Santa and garden reindeer for next Christmas in your new home.
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