Prospective buyers want to view themselves living in the warmth and comfort of the home
As we return to our normal daily routines after the festive break, it’s natural to think of winter as a season to hunker down, keep cosy and await the welcome onset of spring.
So, when it comes to the housing market, your impression may well be that activity is in hibernation here too.
There is no doubt that spring and summer are indeed the busiest times of year for home sales. Check out our ‘selling in the spring’ blog for some of the reasons why.
But, while winter is not traditionally the most popular season, savvy sellers know it can actually offer a great opportunity to pitch to serious buyers.
Remember, seasonality is just one factor informing a property move. Location, finances, personal circumstances and future intentions are up there on the list too.
And there may well be fewer ‘competitor properties’ vying for attention, so putting your home further to the forefront of a buyer’s mind.
As ever, we at Chinneck Shaw can advise you on all aspects of selling so please feel free to come and talk to us.
Expert advice is always recommended but never more so than in this challenging period for the economy.
To help in the meantime, if you are thinking of putting your home on the market in winter and want to arrange viewings, here are ten handy tips to maximise your chances of success:
OUTDOORS: First impressions are crucial whatever the season, and these start outside. Think ahead on winter garden maintenance. Clear away leaves and mud from green spaces and outdoor walkways. Make sure the driveway is neat and tidy. You can add to the welcoming, warm impression by hanging exterior fairy lights around shrubs and trees.
CLEAN CARPETS: Inside, make sure entrances, the hallway and carpets are free of any muddy footprints left by people coming in from the rain.
GREENERY: Flowers and plants will create a clean, fresh feel so always look to brighten up rooms with tasteful greenery.
LIGHT AND BRIGHT: While the days remain drab and dark, good use of interior lighting will help to give a warm, cosy presentation of otherwise dull interiors.
TIMING: Make the most of what natural light there is at this time of year by arranging viewings in the late morning or early afternoon.
HEATING: While we are all concerned about fuel bills right now, it is important to make sure your heating is on ahead of a viewing. You don’t want a prospective buyer to be put off by feeling cold as they walk in and have a look around.
STYLE: Refresh your home styling for winter. Softer materials in items such as throws, rugs and cushions can be made warmer and more vibrant with the correct choice of colour.
DECLUTTER: Now that the Christmas decorations are down, congratulate yourself that the decluttering process has already begun. Keep going. Your prospective buyer wants to view themselves living in the home so the more you can create a neutral space with room to breathe, the better. This means that as well as removing any muddy shoes or boots from view, it is a good idea to tidy away personal items such as family photos or greeting cards that are on display.
SCENT: The subtle use of a pleasant smell can make a property more attractive. That’s because at an emotional level people will tend to connect a scent they recognise with a happy memory. Making your property smell nice is especially important for a winter viewing if, because of the cold weather, it has been shut up with the heating on and not ventilated. Freshly baked bread, coffee and citrus are among the scents that tend to appeal most.
WELCOME: If you are greeting the prospective buyer yourself, make sure to welcome them with a big smile, introduce yourself and offer to hang up their coat. People will always appreciate a friendly greeting and initial conversation as they step into the warmth, especially so if they have arrived in bad weather.
In a separate post, we’ve set out some general advice on preparing your property for winter. As the temperatures plummet, taking the time to do some simple checks can help to prevent costly bills associated with repairs to burst pipes or blocked gutters.
If you are looking to sell your home, we can help you through every stage beginning with a detailed expert valuation. For more information on our support for sellers, visit our sell pages. And for buyers, landlords and tenants, we have a range of really useful information on our property search pages.
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