Although the housing market is traditionally slower over Christmas, it is still possible to attract a buyer during the festive season. There are many pros for doing so, so we thought we would share our thoughts on why you shouldn’t dismiss selling over the winter season, along with top tips on how to attract a festive buyer. Everybody loves to settle into Christmas and feel all snug and warm, so winter is actually the perfect time to play on your home’s cosy, family-friendly charm. Buyers tend to be more serious at this time of year too. There is also less competition i.e. less stock on the market. This can act hugely in the favour of a seller, often resulting in premiums being achieved through competitive bidding. You would also be surprised at how many people set their new year’s resolutions as “I want to move!’
Furthermore, figures from portals such as Rightmove release impressive stats each year, which show how their website hits soar over Christmas. For example, they registered two million house-hunters on Christmas Day, with Boxing Day and New Year’s Day attracting similar numbers. Our own website figures show a spike in people looking at our properties online during this time as well. This is because, during the holidays, people have more time to be browsing online. Last month, we launched Primrose Cottage – it went under offer after just 10 days on the market. It was clearly the right time for our client to be selling and for our buyers who were desperately looking to find something, to buy.We received an outstanding 25 offers on properties within our portfolio for the month of November proving that unlike the doom and gloom in the wider market, we have actually been busy late into the winter months.
Try and keep decorations in your home tasteful and limited. You want buyers to imagine spending Christmas there, but don’t want to distract them from the property itself. A fresh Christmas tree, lit candles and a pretty wreath on your front door can add huge appeal. Avoid lots of twinkly lights, imitation snow, inflatable reindeer and sparkly tinsel for example. When it comes to photographs, you have two choices. If your agent takes photographs with all your decorations in them, make sure they will come and take fresh ones once the holidays are over. This is because Christmas photographs become dated very quickly, and in the New Year, buyers will know immediately how long you’ve been on the market for. You want to avoid that scenario, otherwise, they can start to question why you haven’t sold yet. A good agent should do this for you. Or, when your estate agent comes to take photographs, remove your decorations temporarily.
Light the fire if you have one, put the heating on (at least an hour before people arrive), light some candles and add in some soft furnishings such as faux fur throws and cable knit cushions. A good tidy up is vital at this time of year, it’s very easy to bring the outside in, so make sure you have cleared up any leaves or debris that have made their way into the house. Also tidy away any toys, gardening tools and so on. Don’t forget to fix any problems Due to the cold outside, buyers are more likely going to notice a leaking roof, or a draught coming through a window. Fix it before you start inviting people round. Got a leaky tap, wobbly doorknob or a door hanging off its hinges? Fix them too! and finally and this goes without saying ……clean, clean, clean everywhere! Pay particular attention to the bathrooms and kitchen.
Make the most of your garden – hard to do in winter we know, but you can trim back bushes and trees, mow the lawn, tidy borders and so on, to make your garden look as nice as possible. You could add a splash of colour with some potted plants too – but don’t splurge your money.
Finally, choose a good agent! One that will implement a coherent strategy that ensures your home is being promoted to the public appropriately, with a variety of marketing tools, whilst setting a realistic price bracket too. This will make sure you get the best result possible. Do your research, ask around chat to friends and check their reputation make sure they have a good track record of selling your type of property – there’s no point asking an apartment specialist, to sell a country cottage. Check if they have won any awards, refer to Google reviews, make sure they have a number of listings for sale and have been around for a while. Also make sure they will implement the necessary marketing tools and will price your home correctly. DON’T pick somebody based on who offers the lowest fee!
For further advice on how to sell your home over the Christmas holidays, do get in touch by calling the office on 01442 877627 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.