Tips for selling your home in winter
Tips for selling your home in winter
During the winter months, it can feel like you’re on the back foot when it comes to selling your house. You aren’t able to flood it with natural light and let the blooming flower beds do all the talking; Instead, you have to contend with cold, gloomy days and a fair bit of drizzle.
As a result, winter is typically a much quieter time in the housing market. However, there is unprecedented demand at the moment as the pandemic kicked off a surge of buyers, so you might be in luck.
The key to selling your home in winter lies in boosting its potential. You need to capture the attention of the buyers and show the property at its very best. So, putting in a bit of elbow grease can make all the difference. Here are our top tips...
How to sell your home in winter: boost the kerb appeal
Before you have the property valued and photographed, you need to give it a bit of TLC. The outside of the house can take a bit of a battering during the winter, so do what you can to spruce it up.
- Make sure the pathway/driveway is clear and clean up any debris or leaves
- De-weed the flower beds and trim any hedging
- Hire a pressure hose to get rid of any moss or weeds growing up the side of the house
- Fix any bits of broken fence or gate
- Could the front door and windows do with a fresh lick of paint?
Fix up the interior
If you’re looking to impress, a sparkling kitchen and light, airy living space are often the way to go. So, get out your yellow gloves and scrub down the oven and surfaces. It’s worth giving the place a good declutter too. You might also consider painting the living areas a fresh neutral colour to lighten the space.
When it comes to the bathroom, a brush and bottle of bleach are essential. And whilst you’re at it, give the grout between your tiles a good scrub (mold and mildew are not appealing) Read ‘How to clean grout and keep your bathroom looking fresh’ for sparkling results! Replace any tired-looking shower curtains.
Once the property is in top notch condition, it’s time to get it valued. It’s crucial to do your research, so start off by searching through Rightmove and Zoopla to find houses that sold in your area in the last 12 months. Be realistic and compare your property to those of a similar spec. By having a clear idea of the market, you should be able to value your home more competitively.
Next, get at least one or two estate agents in to value the property. Don’t worry, there’s no commitment at this stage. If possible, ask a small local agent, a big chain and an online agent for a valuation - this should give you the most balanced view.
Estate agent vs online agent
Once you have an idea of the value of your home, you need to work out whether to sell your property through a traditional estate agent or an online agent. There are pros and cons to both:
Traditional estate agent: they’ll do all the leg work for you, which is especially useful if you’re short on time or you don’t fancy the idea of showing people around your house. Traditional estate agents are also likely to have good local knowledge, which helps when it comes to selling the property to prospective buyers.
Online agent: online agents often offer similar services to traditional agents - valuing your home, creating floor plans, taking photos and promoting it on property listing websites. They’re often significantly cheaper too, charging a much smaller, upfront fee. But, this does come at a price. You’ll have to manage the house sale yourself, which can take up a huge chunk of time. On top of that, it’s unlikely that the online estate agent has local knowledge.
Remember as a homeowner you are responsible for home insurance up to the move in date. Check out our monthly or yearly flexible policies with no cancellation fees!
Before the viewings
Prospective buyers will start assessing the property the minute they set eyes on it, so let’s make things easy for them. If you have a car out the front of the house, consider moving it to leave space for the visitors to park. Parking might be a top priority for the buyer, so this could help get the viewing off to a good start.
Are there any last minute problems you could fix? Now’s the time to oil that squeaky hinge and tighten the drippy tap.
You don’t want any distractions getting in the way of the buyer and their impression of the property, so if you have any children or pets, you might want to consider asking a friend to look after them for a few hours.
Make sure the entrance is clear to walk through and free of mess; clear away any shoes and coats and leave space for them to put theirs.
Create a warm, welcoming atmosphere by putting the heating on and lighting a fire if you have a working fireplace. Make sure both your indoor and outdoor lights are working, and turn on a few extra lamps too.
For people viewing and potentially buying a house in December, why not embrace the festivities and dress your home for the occasion. A beautiful wreath on the front door, some twinkling fairy lights..
Make sure all curtains and blinds are wide open to allow the light in. Run a vacuum through the house, plump up the cushions, put out some clean towels, make the beds, fill a vase or two with some fresh seasonal flowers, stash away your bathroom toiletries and, if you’re really feeling domestic, have cake or loaf of bread baking in the oven. It might sound overboard, but who can resist that smell…
A few final tips
Do you have a house in mind that you’re hoping to move on to? You need to decide how to bid for it. Do you go in with a low offer and risk being outpriced, or should you go high to try and clinch the deal? Read ‘How to negotiate house price discounts’ for the lowdown.
You might have your eye on a fixer upper, but how much is it really going to cost you? If you calculate your costs from the get-go and are smart with your finances, you might be surprised by what you can afford. Read ‘Renovating a house on a budget’ and ‘What adds value to a house’ to find out more.