Top tips for winter home sellers
You needn’t wait until spring to sell your property, according to the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA).
Selling your home during the winter can be tricky, as the flow of buyers slows to a trickle and your property doesn’t always look its finest.
But it is possible, and you do have the advantage that with fewer properties on the market outside of the busy homebuying season you will have less competition.
The NAEA has published a list of its top tips for home sellers who want to put their property on the market in the winter months. Follow these handy hints to help make your home look more attractive and maximise your chances of bagging a buyer.
Clean and clear:
Winter can make the front garden and paths look dull and dirty, so ensure these are clean and clear of leaves to improve the attractiveness of the property. A messy garden can signal the need for too much work and detract buyers. If possible, clear patio furniture away, if not, ensure they are securely covered. Trim back overhanging branches, particularly those blocking the windows in order to encourage as much light into the property as possible.
Bright and beautiful:
Ensure your home is well lit, checking all the bulbs are working prior to a viewing and switching them on, including any outdoor lighting. You’ll know which lighting looks best in your home so work with this, especially when viewings run into the evening. During the day you can make the most of natural light by ensuring all blinds and curtains are fully open and clutter is moved out of the way.
Warm and friendly:
Make your house feel warm and homely; it will encourage potential buyers to stay longer. Smell is also important and each home smells different, so freshen up your home. Open the windows prior to the viewing to let some fresh air circulate and display some freshly cut flowers. The cliché of fresh bread or roasting coffee really does work as well. Accentuate any features that are particularly important in the winter such as a fireplace, which can be a real selling point of a home.
With fewer daylight hours available for potential buyers to view your house, you should be as available as possible for prospective buyers to view it when it’s convenient for them.
Tackle winter damage:
Make sure any problems with the property that are more prominent in the winter – such as damp or a faulty boiler – are fixed, and check the gutters and drain covers are properly cleared of dead leaves and other debris.
Martyn Baum, president of the National Association of Estate Agents, said: “Traditionally, properties are harder to sell during the winter. It’s dark and cold and while homes don’t look as attractive, we’re less inclined to be proactive and search for a property – and this can leave sellers feeling in a stalemate position, waiting for the spring to kick in. Your estate agent should be well equipped to adapt to selling homes in these quieter periods but you can start by making changes as small as turning on a light or clearing out clutter.”