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Buying and Selling in Winter Months
Buying and Selling in Winter Months

Winter has traditionally been the quieter season for selling predominantly due to sellers tending to shy away from the market, buyers staying at home and even renters tending to be few and far between. But that slowdown in the natural order of things could be the best time to strike because one key element is missing from the real estate race in winter — panic.

Throughout the more popular spring and summer selling season, usually defined by the football grand finals in October and the week just before Christmas, buyers and sellers tend to have one goal in mind — getting a sale over the line before the presents are unwrapped on December 25. Even tenants become manic during the warmer months as they try to tick off a new address for the new year. However that blinkered approach, motivated by fear of missing out could not only have house hunters and vendors in a spin, it could also lead to missed opportunities.

So here are some reasons as to why it is actually a great time to sell and buy in winter:

SELLERS HAVE LESS COMPETITION

Although vendors usually like to swim with the crowd, it might not be the best move for every property. If your place is a pretty typical family home, or a bog standard flat, then maybe it could get lost in the ocean of an oversupplied market in spring. Put it on the market when things have cooled down and it just might get noticed by motivated buyers who don’t have a lot of choice.

BUYERS HAVE ROOM TO BREATHE

If there are less homes on the market then, there will be less people house hunting. However, many buyers mistakenly think there will be slim pickings on offer so put off their serious house hunting until later in the year.

But winter house hunters who have their finances in order could just have the upper hand and a bit more negotiating power if a seller doesn’t have a string of keen buyers knocking down their door.

Additionally it is also a time when some properties may have lingered too long on the shelf and vendors could be willing to hear any offers.

RENTERS CAN TAKE IT EASY

In some popular inner city suburbs great rentals are snapped up in an instant, especially towards the end of the calendar year and summer months. Tenants who house hunt in winter often aren’t competing with crowds so can take their time making the right choice.

Suburbs near universities, or the beach, can be highly sought after in the summer months, so looking in winter might be the better bet.

GETTING THE BUYER TO WARM TO YOUR HOME

Presentation is the key to selling a home and people now expect it. A great presentation provides that competitive advantage and getting these little things just right especially in a quieter season will give the seller the edge.

Here are some simple inexpensive ideas to present your home better…

Mirrors - They reflect much needed light and can make small spaces look larger and more welcoming.

Rugs - Can warm up cold floorboards and soak up unwanted sounds so the home will feel cosier.

Cushion covers and throws - Just give that cuddly winter look. Potential buyers can imagine snuggling up on your couch.

Fresh flowers - Not only do they smell great, they remind people of the warmer months and make a shut up home seem fresher

Fresh fruit - Citrus colours like lemons and green apples go well in the kitchen and give the impression a space is brighter and cleaner

Pendant lights - While moody they can make a space feel warmer than a stark standard ceiling light

Candles - Hide the dodgy odours homeowners might not recognise like the family dog or the kids’ football shoes, or even mould

Home decor magazines - While it might be too expensive to recreate the entire look in fancy home magazines, at least scattering a few glossies about can give the illusion of an expensive style.

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