It’s a confusing time to sell a house right now, isn’t it? With so many headlines telling us that prices are both rising and falling depending on where you live, and Brexit causing ongoing uncertainty, is now the time to sell or stay?
We are often told the spring is the best time to join the market, but this isn’t always the case. Many home owners don’t want the hassle of trying to sell during the festive season, with some even withdrawing from the market in December. Whilst viewing activity certainly slows down, those who missed out on their dream property in the summer or had an unfortunate fall-through in Autumn are still looking, alongside those planning a move next year. Over what is generally considered the quiet period for home-sellers, the reality is that you won’t have to compete with dozens of other properties just like yours to get buyers’ attention. Reduced competition means more buyers checking out your home, either online or in person. With this in mind, we have compiled six top tips to help you sell your home during the festive season:
Deck the halls
Whether it’s for photos or viewings, buyers want to be able to envisage themselves living in your home, so it pays to make that vision as inviting as possible. Twinkling lights, festive wreaths, and a well-decorated Christmas tree will all help to strike the right note. That doesn’t mean you have to go overboard — a house overly cluttered with Christmas decor can be a real turn-off. In fact, keeping your house clutter-free is a valuable tool for viewings all year round.
Give each room a cosy touch
A folded throw draped over the back of an armchair, a plump quilt at the foot of the bed, or a soft rug in warm hues are just a few small additions that will make a big difference to the way a room feels to prospective buyers. Also, be sure that all the lights are on, even for daytime viewings. Winter days can be dark and dismal, and your house will look its best when it’s as warmly lit as possible.
Keep it clean
Keeping your home free of muddy paw prints and other debris is even tougher in the winter months, and arguably all the more important. In preparation for potential short-notice viewings, always remember to vacuum well and often. Squirt some bleach in the toilet every other morning, and ensure the kitchen sides show no remains of last night’s bolognese.
Don’t neglect the garden
Bare trees may expose areas of your home that are usually hidden, so make sure these areas are clean and presentable. Deal with any cosmetic maintenance issues such as leaf-filled gutters, mow the lawn, and keep your driveway, paths, and patio as clutter and leaf-free as possible.
Price it right
The quieter winter market brings special pricing considerations. Unlike in spring, when there are more potential buyers, winter is not the best time of the year to test the market and list high. Joining the market at a reasonable price straight away will give you the best chance of receiving nothing but positive interest, and hopefully a strong sale.
The holidays make it even more difficult than usual for estate agents to arrange viewings, since vendors and buyers alike often have busy schedules. Clear your diary as best as possible to accommodate potential buyers. If there are dates on which you simply cannot accommodate viewings, let your agent know as soon as possible to ensure they don’t disappoint any potential buyers.