Selling your home in winter
Selling your home in autumn, winter? Ok, well here's our blog ‘Preparing your home for sale’ for starters, all of these points apply so we’d recommend a read.
But there are some further considerations as the days draw in and the weather turns colder and inevitably wetter. Let’s take a look.
Always the first place to start, we talked about kerb appeal and how important it is, tidying the garden, cleaning the windows and so on. Only now you may need to do this every day, just a little - If you have trees in your garden or nearby then those slippery leaves will need to be swept up. The paths, driveways and front doors could start to look a little dull and dirty, clean as much as possible to make your property just as appealing as in the summertime.
No doubt the back garden will be a challenge, it takes the brunt of bad weather and it is easy for it to get out of hand in the winter. Cut back branches, fix anything broken like the shed roof or garden gate, and trim back larger bushes. Again, a good sweep and tidy will make a big difference. Buyers can be put off if it looks unappealing or they believe too much work is needed to maintain it.
Perhaps most importantly, keep the deck clean and if you always meant to get some grip tape down for winter months, now is the time, viewers are still likely to want to take a look at the garden, we don’t want them slipping and sliding.
There may be a few tasks that need to be done during winter that is especially important to stay on top of so buyers can see your home is well maintained. These include clearing drains of dead leaves and making sure gutters and downpipes are not blocked or leaking. People may spot dripping pipes and assume the worst. Small touches such as touching up the windows paintwork can make all the difference when it comes to selling in winter, so it is worth the extra time spent on enhancing your home’s appeal before viewings.
Coming in from the cold
Two considerations - Warmth and light, important for making your home more inviting in the winter months. First of all, make sure the entrance is well lit, check all exterior lights are working. And then check that the entrance hall or lobby is well lit. As always, during the day make sure curtains and blinds are opened as widely as possible to allow natural light inside, and on a dull day switch on lights to help brighten rooms.
Put the heating on! buyers will be put off by a cold house, even if you normally prefer to put on an extra jumper to be economical (we all should after all), a warm home will make buyers feel instantly more comfortable and likely to look round a little longer. It helps them imagine it as their own home.
If you have an open fire or a log burner, if at all possible, light a fire to create a warm and cosy environment (put a grate in front of it as the room could be unattended whilst the viewings go ahead). At Ocean we can always try to ‘block’ appointments to run consecutively, we’ll make the most of the atmosphere and your efforts, after all, you may not normally have an open fire mid-afternoon, mid-week! But it will certainly be worth it from a marketing point of view.
Conversely, winter is a good time to highlight a property's energy efficiency.
If your home is particularly energy-efficient, selling during the cold months will be an excellent time to highlight some of your home’s big selling points. After all, every homebuyer is looking for ways to save money on energy bills. Energy-efficient features such as smart thermostats, solar panels, energy-efficient windows, new attic insulation and so on are something a good sales negotiator will be happy to highlight. Make sure your estate agent has all of the details.
A little extra cosiness
The warmth and tranquil cosiness of home is something we all appreciate now more than ever, and especially when it’s blowing a gale outside. We have advice on clutter as you may have read, but winter is time to add some comfy, warm throws, extra cushions and candles.
Keeping it clean
Your home is going to see lots more traffic, despite your best efforts, treading in dirt, rain, maybe even snow can't be helped. But dirty floors and carpets will be off-putting for buyers as well as being very inconvenient for you. To set the right impression, make a special effort to keep your floors clean and tidy, but prevention is better than cure. Check doormats are up to the task and add extra if you think needed. Provide space for people to take off their shoes and leave them whilst walking around your home. Where possible, make sure the route from the garden around the house is clear, this way the agent can finish the viewing in the garden and leave from there, all the while discussing how wonderful your property is.
So there we are, a few tips we hope you find useful. Of course, if you need more advice on marketing your home, property prices, your local property market, even information on the area you hope to move to (we have trusted independent estate agent partners across the whole of the UK that we can put you in touch with), do get in touch, we're here to help.
Fri 08 Oct 2021