Real estate folklore says the property market cools as the temperature drops. But is winter really a bad time to sell? The simple answer is no.
With less stock, motivated buyers, and crisp days that deliver better views than the best of summer, it’s absolutely possible to get a good price for your home in winter.
Here are the pros and cons.
Pros of selling in winter
1. Less stock – and motivated buyers
Maria Selleck, believes the biggest upside to selling in winter is less competition.
This is because many people still subscribe to the idea that winter is not a good time to sell, and are therefore reluctant to put their house on the market during the colder season.
“Winter is as good a time as any to sell. It all comes down to the state of the prevailing market.”
Also, if potential buyers turn up to an open for inspection on a rainy day, vendors can usually assume they are motivated and ready to buy if it is the right home for them.
2. Better views and air quality
Maria, who has over 17 years’ experience in the real estate industry, advises also that winter often showcases gardens outlooks and views better than any other season.
“Most people do not think about it, but the views are a lot cleaner in the winter, especially with cold air and trees without leaves. There is also less pollen around in winter.”
People who attend open for inspections in winter tend to be more interested in buying the property.
3. The “cosy” factor
Everyone loves to feel cosy, and so selling in winter gives vendors the chance to show off their home at its most inviting and welcoming.
With a roaring fire or ducted heating providing warmth, it is easy to make a home appealing. Even with outdoor areas, you can dress them and talk about how great that space would be in warmer weather
Cons of selling in winter
1. Buyers have to brave bad weather!
Selling in winter does require buyers to face cold and potentially rainy weather to attend open for inspections, and this can be perceived as a barrier to a sale.
Maria says “If it is a cold, bleak day, of course some people are less inclined to go out, but the same could be said about a stinking hot day in summer.”
2. Wet weather can reveal flaws
Older homes with damp issues are more easily sold in warmer months, but any serious seller will address any major problems before selling – regardless of the season.
3. Less natural light
With shorter days and lower light levels, homes often get less natural light in winter, which may have a negative impact on a home’s ambiance if the presentation has been poorly handled by the agent.
What about the other seasons?
While agents have historically told vendors to hold off selling until spring, many people across Australia simply sell when they need to.
Maria maintains that it is less about choosing the perfect time and more about understanding how best to present a property in each particular season but, really, the best time to sell a property is when there is nothing else like it on the market.
In spring, it’s easier to attract potential buyers to open houses because the weather is good, but they still need to be wowed. A high-pressure wash of any signs of mould externally, a big tidy-up in the garden and outdoor entertaining areas, and opening curtains and blinds to let in as much natural light as possible should all be on vendors’ to-do lists.
In summer, it’s more about managing the temperature and shining a light on your home’s outdoor lifestyle. Ensure the home is cool, hold inspections at sensible times, and make sure outdoor areas are dressed to impress.
In autumn, vendors should deal with fallen leaves, so potential buyers don’t “see work” when they inspect. Wet leaves that get dragged into the house can make it look messy, too.
Crystal Ball Gazing vs Dealing with Facts!
Real estate in Canberra is now performing very well even during these unusual times. However, stock levels are remaining low and this, coupled with a current increase in qualified active buyers in the market means that prices are holding firm and, in some cases, even rising as the demand is currently out stripping supply.
Maria says, therefore, that NOW is the best time to sell because there is a real shortage of quality homes on the market and there are a lot of ready buyers eager to cashed up and ready purchase now. We do not have a crystal ball, we do know that the market is very strong at the moment and this is a fact, and while we are forever the optimists, we just cannot predict with any certainty what will happen in coming months.