The number of homes for sale can plummet by 20 percent, and much more in some cases, during the colder months of winter, research shows.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean there are fewer interested buyers, according to Angus Raine, CEO, Raine & Horne.
“Generally, sales volumes are down in the colder months as a result of fewer homes for sale, however this doesn’t necessarily mean there is a smaller pool of motivated buyers,” he said.
“However with less property for sale and interest rates near historic lows, winter 2013 could be the perfect time for those upgraders, who have been sitting on their hands for a few years, to make a move.”
Typically, many sellers, including upgraders, hold out for a spring sale according to Raine, as the collective wisdom suggests that a home will present better in the warmer months.
“However this isn’t always true, and in many cases the cooler months enable a property to show off its very best features,” he said.
Lower interest rates are another motivation for making a real estate upgrade this winter, although Alex Parsons, chief executive of RateCity, warned that finding the right home loan remains a critical factor regardless of the season.
“If you’re looking for a new home loan, be sure to compare at least three mortgage options before signing on the dotted line,” said Parsons.
“Lenders are hungry for your business and are ramping up the competitive deals this winter. Just a few basis points difference between rates could add up to tens of thousands of dollars over the long term, so it’s worth comparing home loans using a site like RateCity.”
For those considering a winter sale, Raine advises that a property must present in its best light when potential buyers visit.
“A new coat of paint can make your rooms look fresh and inviting to aspiring buyers, and sticking to light, neutral shades can make your home appear bright and spacious.”
“Adding splashes of colour to furnishings with colourful throw rugs and scatter cushions can also help the winter presentation of your home, while flowers or a bowl of fruit can also brighten up your home on darker days.”
Natural light is also a critical factor in a winter sale, according to Raine.
“A sun-drenched interior may prove a tick in the box with many buyers during colder weather. With this in mind, cut away any overhanging branches from windows to let more light in,” he advised.
“Winter is also a sensible time to sell a property with a north-facing yard and/or deciduous trees, which allow sunlight to stream in and warm your home.”