If you’re looking to sell your property this winter, whether it’s your family home or buy-to-let, NAEA Propertymark (the National Association of Estate Agents) has some top tips.
The housing market may slow down in the run-up to Christmas, as sellers prioritise the fun and festivities over marketing their properties. However, the colder season brings committed buyers, less competition and an opportunity for homes to be viewed at their cosiest, so vendors should start thinking about getting their property ready now if they want to secure a deal before Christmas.
NAEA Propertymark has put together its top tips for sellers to show off their properties’ best features, whatever the weather:
Mark Hayward, the Chief Executive of the organisation, says: “Although it’s dark outside and the prospect of making your way through the Christmas TV listings sounds more appealing than selling your home, the period before Christmas is a great time to do so. In January, sellers flood the market and supply shoots up, meaning there’s less competition and you may find it more difficult to secure an offer.
“There are lots of things you can do to entice potential buyers looking to make a winter purchase, so we’ve compiled a list of top tips. Don’t forget to go to your estate agent for advice as well, as they should be well equipped to adapt to selling homes in these quieter periods.”
Ensure that your property is warm and well lit, as this can encourage potential buyers to stay longer during viewings and help them see themselves living in the home – especially during the winter.
Set the heating to come on during the day when you have viewings and use throws in the living room. If you have a gas fireplace, light a fire to welcome visitors, and create a warm and cosy atmosphere. But, if your fireplace tends to leave a smoky smell in the room, hold off.
Simple festive décor
If you’re selling a home in the run-up to Christmas, try and take advantage of the holiday season, but don’t go overboard on the festive decorations. A property that feels cluttered with Christmas décor can deter buyers – inflatable snowmen don’t appeal to everyone!
Buyers should be able to envisage themselves living in your property, so it pays to make it as inviting as possible. A tastefully decorated Christmas tree and a cinnamon scented diffuser are probably all you need.
Make the most of your entrance
First impressions really do count, so make sure that the first thing your guest sees is a tidy exterior. If your front door is looking a bit shabby, buy a new doorknob, a brass letterbox or a stainless-steel house number; these small touches can instantly make a home feel more welcoming. Add a wreath on the door or hang some fairy lights outside – and keep paths clear of snow or ice.
Let in light
Home hunters regularly tell estate agents that they want a light and airy property. As daylight hours are limited during winter months, maximise the light whenever possible. Install higher wattage bulbs and turn on the sidelights, to create a warm glow from the street. If it’s dark, make sure the curtains are drawn, so that buyers don’t feel like they’d be too exposed living in your home.
Make everything sparkle
Washing the windows will help you maximise the precious daylight hours. Get rid of cobwebs and dust all of your furniture, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures. Bleach any grout, and polish chrome taps and mirrors.
Tackle any winter damage
Make sure that any problems with the property that are more prominent in the winter, such as damp or a faulty boiler, are fixed prior to putting the home on the market.
Increased rainfall over the winter can take its toll on guttering, so check the gutters and drain covers are properly cleared of dead leaves and other debris, as leaky gutters and down pipes cause issues and are unsightly.