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WINTER CAN BE THE BEST TIME OF YEAR TO SELL A HOUSE

Whether you are selling a house in winter or any other season, it has been well proven the season a house is listed for sale has little bearing on the success or failure of it to sell for a good price the first time on the market - if listed with a competent real estate agent.

Contrary to belief, houses can be sold for an optimum sale price anytime of the year.

Your choice of real estate agent is the single most important factor that determines the success or failure of a house sale any time of the year and especially so in winter, so if you're preparing to sell your house, find out more about how to compare real estate agents.

Things in and outside the house may look more drab in the winter to you, but there are lots of things you can do to make your house appealing to winter buyers who won't have the expectations of a summer look. They just want to buy a house, so make sure yours is at the top of their list.

When Selling In Winter, Adjust Your Mindset About Buyers

Put your 'buyer's hat' on and think through what the most important things are that people look for in a house.

For example, the layout and structure of a garden can be more important than what's in the garden. We've never known anyone not to buy a house because it had the wrong plants in it but it is likely that moss covering a footpath may indicate a damp property which would be off-putting.

According to Quotable Value NZ, there are five things that add the most value to a house and when selling a house in winter, these can be especially helpful.

Hellebores come in shades of pink, purple, white, pale green and cream. Plant them in the front garden for some Winter appeal.

Best time of year when least competing houses for sale

Because there are fewer properties on the market in winter, home sellers have an important ace up their sleeve - less competition.

Features that come to life when selling a house in winter

Home staging can really help set the scene, making a house look warm and inviting. It is also important to pay attention to your curb appeal.

You can also make the most of a home's winter features, such as an inviting log fire that has been lit for the occasion, or dramatic lighting that would be missed on a bright summer's day.

Some rooms come to the fore in winter, so can be shown off to their best advantage.

You can also spark up a prospective buyer's imagination - how would they see themselves living in your house during winter? These are all things that a really good real estate agent would advise you about.

A stylish, but warm and cosy looking winter-weight throw, an arrangement of props that invite people to curl up in a warm nook ... all are opportunities that won't happen in summer.

Shine a little brighter when selling in winter

Beautifying the inside of the house becomes more important when selling a house in winter, so set it up as an inviting place to come in out of the cold.

A vase of lillies on the dining table will give the whole room a lift and create a lasting first impression.

Simple, easy additions like a big vase of fresh flowers on the dining table (lillies for instance) will create a pleasant and uplifting focal point.

Other touches include:

  • splashes of cheerful colour
  • coffee table picture books and attractive magazines
  • house plants for some indoor life - a white bathroom will look less chilly with some fashionable greenery
  • strategic lighting to save a dim corner

In general, home staging will be your best friend for a winter house sale.

HOME STAGING CREATES THE BUYER'S DREAM

When selling a house in winter especially, home staging an empty property can transform a house from being ordinary to extraordinary, making it stand out from competing properties for sale in the area.

With fewer homes on the market and competing against yours, you have a much greater chance of your house getting on the shortlist of houses to buy.

Home staging also helps buyers to better visualise how much room is available and how to work the spaces with their own furnishings. Investing in home staging makes it harder for other lived-in homes to compete because of the higher volume of interest it arouses.

Hiring beautiful furniture might cost you $1800 for four-five weeks, but might make you $20,000 or more in a sale price. Real estate agents themselves are often taken aback by how much more they can achieve in a sale price by home staging. Many estimate 10-15 per cent more in a sale price.

We can provide you with a directory of home stagers in your location or it can be completely coordinated by competent real estate agent for your area and property type.

Buy a few colourful native flaxes to add some easy care winter colour to your front garden.

The entrance way

Pay attention to the entrance way.

Curb appeal becomes even more important, and can be managed by making the front tidy and presentable with splashes of colour.

  • Make sure front gardens are cleared of dead foliage, dead leaves (unless they are part of the autumn look) and neatly pruned.
  • Add some statement pot plants at the front door.
  • Consider painting the front door so it becomes a focus and invitation to come inside.
  • Be extra vigilant with ugly distractions like wheelie bins.

Winter garden colour

Buy a few winter flowering plants for the front garden.

Winter roses (Hellebores) for instance, flower during June, July and August. Tell the nursery when you need the blooms and they will advise.

Many plants are also designed to give colour all year around just from their foliage.

There are many colourful easy care small native flaxes now on the market. If you are planning a year ahead, they can be planted and divided after a summer of growth - doubling your supply.

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