Is Selling Your Property in Winter a Good Idea?

Thursday 21 Jun 2018

The eternal question in property sales is when is the best time to sell? Some believe that a summer sale reaps the most rewards, because there are plenty of buyers out and about plus everyone is in good spirits and enjoying generally magnificent weather. However, others believe that selling your property in winter attracts a more committed and authentic buyer.

The truth is there is no ideal time to sell a property, but there is the right time to sell your property. When it comes down to how to get the best price for your property, things like the unique features of the property, its location and specific factors of appeal in the local market should all be considered when planning the timing of a sale.

Winter is Here

Generally, things quieten down in the winter as people retreat from the cold. The long block of school holidays mid-year has an impact, and the inspiration to go house shopping on a freezing rainy Saturday drops, along with the temperatures. Property listing volumes tend to decrease during this period and while there are less buyers about, there’s also less competition for those same buyers from the homes that other vendors have placed on the market. Those needing to purchase on short time frames are more decisive and may be willing to pay a little more than they’d planned, when faced with fewer choices.

Best Foot Forward

Appearance is everything when marketing and selling a house and some houses are sold purely for their seasonal advantages - beach houses, for example, and country cottages in the snowfields. A dark alpine style cabin is best displayed in its full winter glory with a roaring fire, a snow capped roof and buyers dropping in during the annual family ski trip. A beach house will have much more emotional pull in the summer months as the sea sparkles, surfers bob in the distance and the air smells warm and full of possibilities. But those are destination houses. Similarly, an early 20th century art deco apartment tucked away at the back of a heritage block in the inner city is going to present a different atmosphere in late spring than it does in winter; and that tiny railway cottage in the leafy suburbs will ooze all the charm it can muster in autumn as the deciduous trees explode with colour and smoke drifts cheerfully out of the chimney.

What Comes Next

Of course when selling your property there are two priorities – knowing how to get the best price for your property and having a plan for what comes next for you after it’s sold. Half of your planning is about getting the timing right for a good sale price, but the other half will be about also getting a great buy for your next property. There is a definite consensus amongst industry professionals that if you sell in winter you are wisely positioning yourself to buy well in spring. Selling in winter with a long settlement gives you time to find something great, when the market comes back to life in spring. That in turn means a move in early summer, when the kids are done with school and everything can happen with a relatively relaxed and easy approach.

So selling your property in winter or any other season is really a strategic decision, based on the property itself and your circumstances. Really, the best time to sell comes down to your readiness and the amount of competition currently out there for houses just like yours.

Have you sold a house in winter or spring and how did your experience compare?