Any real estate agent will tell you that the housing market cools with the weather. It becomes much more of a challenge to sell a home in autumn, and even more so in winter. Where a sunny summer’s day lifts the spirits of home buyers and makes them more forgiving when faced with a property’s perceived problems, cooler weather tends to magnify these issues and detract from a home’s value as a result.
Of course, you might not want to wait until next summer to sell your home. The good news is, if you do list your home in the winter months, there are plenty of simple things you can do to add value to your home and make it a lot more appealing to fairweather buyers. They include:
- Dark homes are not appealing homes, and this is accentuated even more in winter. That’s why you should prune or remove trees that stop light from entering your main living areas and bedrooms. If your budget allows, install skylights to allow light into darker areas of your home, and LED lighting will also make the property look brighter. As a bonus, LED lighting is a great selling point for the increasing number of buyers demanding energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly houses.
- First impressions count so get outside to ensure the landscaping is appealing, remove piles of leaves, and hose mud and dirt off decking and courtyards. And a new letterbox will also work wonders!
- Clutter is an eyesore so store some of your furniture and more personal items while the house is on the market.
- Clean out your roof gutters and spouting. There’s nothing worse than leaking and overflowing gutters if home buyers are checking out your property on a rainy day. Decaying vegetation in your gutters can also give off an unfortunate odour which will be incredibly off-putting to potential buyers.
- Make your home feel warm and cosy by upgrading or installing insulation if possible. Draught stoppers on external doors and foam weather strips around door frames will stop warm air from escaping your home.
- Use a chemical treatment to limit the growth of mould and moss on your driveways and paths. They can be slippery and dangerous over the cooler and wetter months.
- Fix any leaks or drain issues that cause water to pool and puddle outside. Ask a plumber to clean your drains – blocked and smelly drains really could be a deal killer.
- Paint the fence or put up a new one to give the house a lift and also make it appear much more secure.
- If your budget allows, paint interior rooms in modern shades. Darker shades can make for a gloomy atmosphere when selling in winter.
- If you’re hosting open homes, schedule them for a time when the most sun is on your house.
- If you haven’t already done so, install heat pumps. They are big selling points with today’s home buyers so something like a Panasonic inverter heat pump will really stand out.
Selling a home in winter is a challenge but it’s not impossible. By following these tips, you’ll present a property that will appeal to the market regardless of the weather.