With house hunters on the lookout for a new place, especially between Christmas and New Year, winter is a great time to put your property on the market.
From lighting a fire to putting up your Christmas decorations, there are plenty of ways to make your home more saleable this winter, with Gloucestershire estate agency, Naylor Powell, sharing some of its top tips.
About the expert – Grace Davey from Naylor Powell
Based at the Gloucester branch, sales manager, Grace Davey, is one of Naylor Powell’s expert team – offering sales, lettings and property management services across Gloucestershire.
With branches in Cheltenham, Gloucester Docks, Hempsted, Newent and Stonehouse, Naylor Powell has excellent local knowledge, highly trained staff and has been trusted by homeowners since 1982.
Is winter a good time to put your house on the market?
Sometimes clients are keen to put their house moving plans on hold until after the New Year period, however, from experience we have found that winter can actually be a hugely successful time to list.
Activity levels across property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla rise significantly between the Christmas and New Year period, as families look forward to making plans for the upcoming year. Those listed within these months can get ahead of the spring bounce when the market can become oversaturated with property stock.
Furthermore, properties can look as inviting during the winter months as they do in the summer, when people look to traditionally list. Roaring fires and beautiful snug rooms are always perfect features to show off during this time of year, which really help viewers envision the property as their own.
How are the current Coronavirus restrictions affecting house viewings?
We are fortunate that under current government guidelines we have been able to continue to keep the housing market open for business and conduct viewings and appointments in an appropriate and safe manner.
That said, like many businesses out there, we have had to find ways to innovate and adapt: with 3D video tours and Zoom calls becoming the norm – and, although strange at first, we have found they have been a really positive and successful change in keeping the market running.
How can sellers make their home feel warm and welcoming to viewers during winter?
First impressions are everything and winter is a great time to show off features that often get overlooked in summer. For those with a wood burner or fireplace we always recommend having them alight (if it is safe to do so) as they create a warm and homely feel.
In winter we tend to close up our homes due to the cold weather so it is always worth regularly airing the property and adding fresh winter fragrances too, so viewers are immediately welcomed as they step through the door.
Cold, wet weather can cause problems like condensation and damp – are there any simple ways to fix these issues?
Unfortunately, many homes do suffer with condensation issues although small changes can make a big difference. Keeping the property at a stable temperature rather than fluctuating the heating always helps, as well as opening window vents or airing the house each morning.
Is it acceptable to ask viewers to take their shoes off in your house when it’s wet or muddy outside?
Absolutely! The last thing we would want is mud through the home, we always kindly ask viewers to remove their shoes when possible and if not, we always carry shoe covers to every appointment, all year round.
What are your thoughts on Christmas decorations? Can they put potential buyers off?
Christmas is a festive period to enjoy for so many people and stepping into a home with twinkling lights and a charming tree can help people envision the property as their own, which is key to attracting buyers. Although I would say that less can be more when it comes to festive decorations!