With winter well underway, many homeowners are preparing to batten down the hatches and wait for the warm weather to return before putting their house on the market. This is because winter is generally not considered to be the best time to sell, as buyers are less likely to spend cold weekends inspecting homes and attending auctions. Not to mention homes and their gardens often don’t look their best during dark colder months.
However, winter doesn’t dampen the housing market as much as you might think. With fewer homes on the market in the colder months, there is less competition and greater demand among buyers.. This may give you the opportunity to negotiate a higher sale price and to show off the cosy features of your home.
Here are four things to consider before putting your home up for sale during winter.
1. Turn up the heat & appeal to the senses
There’s nothing better than escaping the cold on a winters day and walking into a warm and cosy home. Make sure the heating features of your home are on and if you have a fireplace whether wood or gas make sure you have it on showcasing it on every inspection. Also if you have time, baking cookies or a cake a few hours before your open home creates a sense of hominess and warmth. Also lighting some candles with lovely scents that filter througout the home is definatley worth doing all year round.
2. Let the light in
Our Australian winter days are shorter with the sun sitting lower in the north. Make the most of this warm natural lighting by letting the light flow into all north-facing aspects of your home. Open up the curtains and clean your windows to make the most of the sunlight. Also be sure to fix any lose window frames so that buyers don’t feel any cold drafts coming through. Use lighting within your home to contribute to a warm and calming glow. Turn on lamps in any dark corners and utilise mirrors to make small rooms appear bigger and lighter. Turn on all lighting inside the home in each and every room.
3. Make a good first impression – it’s all about kerb appeal!
Fixing any loose roof tiles, cleaning out overflowing gutters and other common winter household chores can make your home appear much more inviting and cleaner even on a rainy day. It will also give buyers confidence that your home is durable and can withstand a heavy downpour. Make sure your lawn is mowed and your garden is tidy and well maintained. This will give the impression that your home is similarly clean and well looked after on the inside. Also, don’t underestimate the impact of a fresh lick of paint on the exterior or a cheerful shade on the front door. This can add vibrancy to your exterior and make your home appear more welcoming.
4. Show off the year-round use of your outdoor areas.
A seasonal outdoor entertaining area is an important aspect of a home for many Aussie buyers. Putting your home on the market in winter is the perfect way for you to showcase your home’s outdoor areas that can be used in both winter and summer months. Make sure you hose down the deck, sweep paths and rake up dead leaves before buyers enter your backyard. Having plants that flower during winter will also make your outdoor living space look vibrant and inviting, even on a cold day.
Turn on your outdoor heating features, such as a fire, gas heater or barbecue, to create a feeling of warmth. Roll down any waterproof blinds in your alfresco dining area and add some cushions to the seating areas to make the space look cosy and usable year round.
– Dasha McGee