The winter months have traditionally been slower for property sales compared to other seasons but with Covid-19 restrictions putting the breaks on activity earlier in the year, the market shows no signs of slowing.
Rightmove reports a 66% increase in the number of active buyers, 70% more property sales agreed and a faster completion time compared to a year ago. So, how do you ensure your property gets noticed as the leaves continue to fall and the dark nights set in?
It’s about setting the right tone and luring people in – despite freezing temperatures – from the minute your property hits the internet until the moment a viewing is over. Here’s how to avoid 6 common mistakes, along with some alternative ideas to help sell your home in the winter months.
- Don’t neglect outside areas: If you want buyers to even entertain the idea of viewing your property, it needs to be picture perfect from the outside first. Sweep away fallen leaves and other debris, clear cobwebs, wipe winter grime from windows and ensure there is a safe, clear and well-lit path to your property. If your garden normally blooms in the summer but looks a little bleak in the winter, consider adding some winter-flowering plants and shrubs to distract from bare branches.
- Resist packing away your garden furniture: Instead of putting any garden furniture away in storage boxes for the season, winterise it instead. Complement seating areas with some blankets, outside lighting and a heater or fire pit to demonstrate how the garden can still be enjoyed, despite the colder weather.
- Exercise restraint when getting your Christmas decorations out: Deck the halls by all means by your timing will be crucial. Resist putting up anything reindeer related until after the agent has taken their photographs, as festive decorations will pinpoint when your property first went on the market – especially if you’re not sold by Christmas. Small seasonal touches are an alternative to tinsel, and are less overwhelming with viewings in mind. A winter-themed wreath on the front door, garlands made from foliage and dried fruit, and poinsettias plants all add style without the full-on Santa.
- Don’t be stingy with heat, light and tactile fabrics: Create a feeling of cosiness and warmth by highlighting feel-good features, such as fireplaces, log burners and ambient lighting. Position throws over chair backs, fluffy robes in the bathroom and toasty slippers at the foot of the bed. Candles and fairy lights, although cliched, still create a welcoming ambience and set the central heating to 20℃ to ensure maximum viewing comfort.
- Sell with small touches: It’s bad enough having to venture out in the wind and rain to view a home, so make sure your home is prepared to give a warm welcome. Have an umbrella stand at the ready for sodden brollies, a door mat to wipe dirty feet and a coat stand for wet outerwear. Subtle seasonal scents can help set the tone and disguise cooking or pet smells, as long as they aren’t overbearing. Notes of pine, fig, cinnamon and mulled wine work well in winter.
- Be clear as to what’s possible: Home offices, indoor gyms, larders and dining rooms are high on property wish lists but ensure the purpose of the space is obvious by using the appropriate furniture and accessories. Show potential buyers photographs of your garden and interior taken in the summer, and have any plans you’ve had drawn up to extend, remodel or refit to hand – especially if you’ve already gained planning permission.
If you would like more information about how to prepare your home for photographs and viewings in the winter, contact us today.
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