By Samuel Clarke, Valiant Property Stylist in Melbourne
While winter isn't traditionally seen as a best time to sell, there are some strong advantages to selling your home in the cooler months. Read on to find out why as well as to get tips on how to successfully style a property for sale in winter!
There’s no denying the strong correlation between seasons and the real estate market. Spring is traditionally considered the best time to sell your home or property; the light is better, the temperature is pleasant, and everything is in bloom. On the other hand, there is a preconceived notion that winter is a bad time to sell, perhaps because of poor lighting or simply because people are less willing to step out of their homes into the cold.
The truth is that selling your home during winter has its benefits. Let’s look at the different factors driving property sales during the cooler months.
People’s reasons for buying and selling homes – a relocation on account of work, upsizing a home for a growing family, or empty nesters downsizing to a more manageable property – happen throughout the different seasons. There is a higher chance that people seeking to buy property during winter are serious buyers. These are buyers who are not willing to wait for the spring as there is likely an immediate need to buy.
In an article by openagent.com.au, it was mentioned that 75% is the average clearance rate across Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne for property sales in the months of June, July and August. During the colder months, you still get buyers looking to get into the market but they end up competing for a smaller number of properties for sale. There are generally less property listings therefore resulting in lower supply but higher demand. This a good opportunity for a seller who takes advantage of this situation - it can increase their chances for a faster property sale, and a higher property sale price.
Truth is – whether the sun is shining or hiding, or whether the real estate market is booming or idle, having your property professionally styled will help it stand out and capture the hearts and minds of buyers in what can be one of the most emotive purchase decisions in their life.
There are a few nuances behind home staging in winter which we want to share with you. What may seem as 'the problems of selling in winter' can very well be used in your favour when preparing your home for a sale in the cooler season.
Take advantage of the cooler weather for a selling your property in winter. Remember that glorious feeling of stepping out of the cold and into a nice toasty home? Your potential buyers will be walking into your property and out of the outside chill. Imagine the journey they took and what they will feel when they enter. Create that contrast between the cold and the comfort of a warm, cosy and beautifully styled home. Give them a reason to breathe out a happy sigh.
On that note, in creating an atmosphere of cosiness and comfort, think of soft and layered textures. Your styling should make your potential buyers want to snuggle on the lounge or have a lazy weekend morning in the bedroom.
Consider plush furniture to create this feel. For example, upholstered headboard for the beds, cushioned dining room chairs, or lounges you can sink into. Layer beds and lounges with cushions and lush throws.
Complement the spaces with area rugs. These are not only great for setting zones, they also soften and warm the look of hard flooring like floorboards and tiles while helping the acoustics of the space.
We all know that there is less sunlight during the winter months, so giving extra thought to your interior’s lighting scheme to ensure optimal brightness is important.
Start with taking note of how much light (of lack of it) the rooms and little corners of your property receive during winter. After a proper assessment you should then look at adding additional lighting where needed. Sometimes simply replacing cool, low wattage bulbs with warmer and brighter globes can do the trick.
In other cases, you will need well-positioned lamps or the addition of lighting fixtures, such as pendant lighting, to complement the space’s natural light. One tip that you can also consider is the use of a strategically placed and aptly sized mirror. Not only does it reflect light, it helps enlarge the space!
Apart from planning your lighting, remember to clean your windows. Clean and clear glass lets in more of that precious winter light and will be a big help in brightening your property. You'll be surprised at the glorious difference cleaned windows make.
Just remember - lighting goes hand-in-hand with your wall paint colour. One of the most basic property styling ‘must-dos’ is the application of a fresh coat of paint on the walls, ideally in white or similar colours as they reflect light.
Putting a little love into this in addition to well thought-out lighting does wonders in helping set a nice soft and homely ambience to the property.
No matter the season, living and bedrooms will always be key selling spaces. The cold of winter, especially, draws people to these rooms typically associated with warmth, lounging and comfort. Take advantage of this and give these areas extra attention when styling and preparing you property for a winter sale
Rain proof and draft proof your home. Fix any leaks and clean gutters to avoid over flow in the event of a winter downpour. Search for drafts, especially in bedrooms and lounge areas, and make the necessary repairs. That draft can ruin your effort in creating that homey cosy atmosphere.
Climate control on sale day
Turn up the heating to a comfortable temperature to bring your potential buyers out of the cold and into the welcoming warm embrace of your home’s interiors.
Schedule of sale day
Where possible, choose your open times around the orientation of your home and when your home is lightest and brightest. These are the optimal conditions for showcasing your home. Otherwise, ensure that you’ve set-up optimal lighting for your home.
If you’re still unsure of the prospects behind selling your property during winter, consult with a trusted real estate agent and an experienced property stylist for some professional advice.A real estate agent constantly monitors the market and knows the peaks and troughs of the housing market. They will be able to provide you with facts and strategies behind getting the best sale opportunities during this season.
Complement real estate market knowledge with a property stylist’s expertise - styling a property to capture the hearts and imagination of your target market during a winter sale. Property stylists know the art and logic behind presenting a home for sale and will be able to help you bring the best out of your property.