Winter probably isn’t the ideal season in which to sell a property in the UK. It’s bitterly cold, wet and the fact that it gets dark at around 4 o’clock doesn’t help.
That said, not everyone can afford to wait around for the traditional spring or summer house-buying season and whilst it’s true that there will be less buyers on the market, it can also be argued that there is less competition as well. This means that there is potential in selling your home during the winter, if done in the right way.
Here are some cost-effective and simple ways to maximise your home’s selling potential:
1. Make a good first impression
The most important first step to consider when selling a home, is making a good first impression. Make sure the entrance to your home as attractive as possible. Give your door a fresh lick of paint, make sure the porch light is bright and vibrant and perhaps even decorate your front door step with some fresh potted plants and a welcome mat. It may sound superficial, but tiny refurbishments like these can have a huge impact!
2. Warm the soul
If it’s cold in your home, then ramp up the heating when prospective buyers arrive to make them feel warm and cosy. It will help create that all-important sense of homeliness.
3. Light the way
It can be difficult to arrange viewings around a busy schedule, but if you can, make sure you conduct your house viewing before it gets dark outside. Clean all curtains and blinds before showing and leave them open to let the light flood in. Turn on the lights for some extra brightness if it’s gloomy outside.
4. Clean and clear
One of the first things a buyer will want to inspect is the view outside, meaning they’ll be getting very close to your windows. Be prepared and give them a thorough clean before a viewing. If your visitor gets close and can barely see through to the outside, they’ll think that either the house is unclean, or that you’re trying to hide something on the opposite side. Or both.
5. Set lights to timer
You never know when a potential buyer is driving past your home to check it out from the outside. If you’re not always in, it’s important to set your lights to timer. It will make your home look attractive and secure from the outside and more importantly, they might decide to arrange a second look.
6. Celebrate good times
One rather obvious benefit of selling your home in the winter is the fact that it’s Christmas. Unleash some festive spirit and decorate your home accordingly. It’s a fantastic way to make your property feel like a home and it will give prospective buyers a chance to visualise what good times they might have themselves in the future.
7. Create a welcoming aroma
A pleasant aroma can create a welcoming atmosphere and have an enhancing effect on your home. Scented candles and flowers look decorative and provide an attractive scent.
8. Tidy that garden
Make sure your garden is well maintained when showing your home as a messy lawn as a messy lawn can be a huge negative. Trim the grass if necessary and make sure all paving stones and pathways are visible as these can really enhance the attractiveness of your garden. If you have a tree that’s close to the house or a potential hazard, then consider having it taken down. It could make a big difference.
9. Upgrade the kitchen
The focal point of any home and often the room that makes or breaks a deal is the kitchen. If your kitchen is small and in need of a refurbishment, then it may be worth installing some new cabinets. If you have some money to invest, then consider adding some premium fittings such as an island, stainless steel oven tops or an undermount sink. Features like these are hugely desirable and might encourage prospective buyers to put in an offer.
10. Neutral colours
Increase the potential for selling your home by re-painting your walls with neutral colours. Appeal to the wider market by using autumnal creams and whites give your home an inexpensive face-lift.
11. The illusion of space
If you have fixed wardrobes and want to give off the impression of space, clear out half of your clothes and put them somewhere else. This will compensate for smaller sized wardrobes and make them seem roomier than they actually are. Don’t underestimate how big a selling point cupboard space is!
12. Freshen those floors
Clean your floors to make sure they’re glistening when showing people around your home and bring. Removing stains and grit from carpets is visually enhancing and gives the impression of long lasting, quality material. For worn hardwood floors, accentuate them by sanding and then resealing and consider replacing if they’re beyond repair.
13. Always be ready
Considering that completing a property transaction during the winter is less likely than any other time of the year, it’s recommended that you accept flexible viewing times. Given that your future buyer could step through the door at any given time, make sure you’re always prepared. Keeping the house clean, stack away the dishes, make beds and stay on top of general house work. If you want to give yourself the best chance possible of selling your home, it will need to look spotless.
14. Sell it online
Budgets can become tight after the Christmas shopping spree, which means it’s especially important to consider how much you want to spend when selling your home. Sell it online to save thousands of pounds and then use some of the money saved to improve your existing property to speed up the selling process.
About the author
eMoov.co.uk was founded by experienced estate agents in 2010 who saw that consumer behaviour and the inexorable rise of the internet is bound to drag the property industry kicking and screaming into the world of eCommerce, just as it had done with insurance, travel, entertainment and shopping. Up to 95 per cent of all property enquiries start online. eMoov.co.uk is the modern answer to reaching the maximum possible buyer audience and at a cost that is around ten times less than on the high street. eMoov.co.uk is the UK’s largest low cost online estate and letting agent with 1,000 properties within its inventory. AllAgents.co.uk, the third party estate agency testimonial website, rates eMoov.co.uk the number one internet estate agent for customer satisfaction based on consumer feedback (2012).