When it comes to selling houses, the conventional wisdom is that spring is the best time to go to market. Reasons cited include the extra sunshine, which can make homes look brighter and gardens more blooming, and the fact that warmer weather is more conducive to bringing buyers out in droves.
But are there benefits to selling your home in winter? Absolutely, according to real estate agent Ercan Ersan, director of Ray White Erskineville & Surry Hills.
“We definitely see benefits in selling in winter over spring,” he said.
“In the inner west and inner city [in Sydney], the amount of buyers never changes – there are a lot of prospective buyers at all times of the year.
“But what happens is that in winter there is a genuine lack of stock. And fewer properties for sale means more competition among buyers.”
In a scenario of the same amount of demand but lack of supply, buyers may end up paying a higher price than they would when faced with a lot more choice in spring to ensure they secure the home of their dreams.
“They don’t have as many options, so they’re willing to pay a little bit more,” Ersan said.
Speak to real estate agents in your area to determine if there is enough buyer activity in the winter months and if there is, you can reap the rewards of a less competitive marketplace while possibly attracting a higher number of buyers.
Keep in mind, however, that the best time of year to sell will also depend on your property. If your home is south-facing and attracts more shade than light, a spring sale may be a better idea for you.
Styling your home for a winter sale differs from spring sales, Ersan added.
“I recommend removing colder pieces of furniture and warming up the home with plush rugs and throws,” he said.
An outdoor heater also works well in courtyards and gardens, while lighting a fire inside can present the home at its cosiest. And turn on lights and lamps for added light and warmth.
For buyers, Ersan suggested waiting until spring to start their mortgage and home hunting.
“It is better to wait until spring if you are buying, because there are more properties on the market and less competition,” he said.
Selling or buying a new home are big decisions, so explore all your options with plenty of research and expert advice.