Is Winter the Best Time to Sell?

Industry experts are challenging seasonal selling conventions

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Some key figures in property world are challenging the widely held belief that spring is the best time to sell a property. It seems that a number of experts are now naming winter as the best season to sell. Why? Apparently the buyers are more dedicated, there is less competition and sellers tend have their homes at their most cosy and inviting in preparation for the festive period.

Read on to get some top tips and hear some industry insight from the experts. Here are some great reasons to put your property on the market before spring has sprung.

More Eyes on Fewer Properties

Property websites like Rightmove and Zoopla report record traffic levels over the Christmas holidays. Even on Christmas Day the larger sites can clock up visitor numbers in the millions. Post-party days like Boxing Day and New Year’s Day also see massive spikes in web traffic.

Nick Leeming from estate agency Jackson-Stops, says: “[Levels of traffic to our website] shows that interest in residential property is alive and well at the height of winter.”

The combination of these spikes in web traffic on property sites combined with a shortage of people selling is a massive plus for sellers, leading to competitive bidding and a top end price being achieved by sellers.

Kevin Maley of Strutt & Parker’s Inverness office says: “The onset of winter used to be a quiet time in estate agency, but seasonal boundaries are no longer particularly relevant. We have brought on several properties in the past few weeks and they have attracted a significant number of inquiries.

“Earlier this month we launched a £1 million property that went under offer within two weeks. The client was originally planning to go on the market in the spring, but we felt that in light of a few other recent successful sales, it would be better to launch rather than hold off and risk missing the market. It was clearly the right thing to do. The market can change quickly at the moment and it is best to strike when the market conditions are favourable.”

Winter Buyers Are Rarely Time Wasters

Winter buyers are made of tough stuff. Think about it. Winter is cold and dark and there are an abundance of Christmas activities like shopping that should be consuming peoples evenings and weekends. This combination will put all but the most committed of property purchasers off venturing out to view properties. In a nutshell: winter buyers are serious customers.

Also, when buyers are looking at properties in winter, they usually want to be in their new home as close to the start of the new year as possible.

Anna Gardiner of Savills’s country-house team in Scotland says: “Viewers who are out looking at Scottish properties during the winter months do tend to be more focused, as it can take commitment to brave the weather. They tend to be buying because they need to, perhaps because they have sold their property or because they have been looking all year and are becoming increasingly keen to tick ‘find our new home’ off their resolutions list before the new year.”

Homes Appear Warm and Inviting

Winter really gives sellers the chance to show off how much of a “home” their property can be. If a potential buyer who has braved the cold to visit your property is greeted with the warm hug of a heated home it makes a great first impression.

Kevin Maley of Strutt & Parker confirms the plus-points of showing a property on a cold winter’s day: “Realistic buyers know [Scotland] doesn’t benefit from high temperatures and year-round sunshine; they want to know that their prospective property offers a warm and cosy welcome.”

A winter’s evening can also be a great time to show off your properties view. Any property with a good city skyline view can look pretty special when viewed during the sunset. A winter viewing arranged for early evening can be ideal for this.

Happy Selling

Wise Property Care would like to wish you all the best of luck if you do decide to sell your property this winter, though if the experts are to be believed you might not need it.

Remember that Wise Property Care are here in case you receive any unwanted Christmas gifts on the home report. From woodworm to damp proofingdry rot  or wet rot, we can make sure your new property is a healthy ho-ho-home.

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