It's The Middle Of Winter So Is It A Bad Time To Sell?

By Craig Lowe


Some of you may remember me addressing this question a few years ago. Well the answer hasn’t changed however some of the fundamentals of the market certainly have.

This question stems from the natural assumption that in the summer months your home will be presented to the market better due to fine weather and of course the seasonal influence on the garden.

Good presentation of your home, both inside and out is certainly crucial to achieving a premium price, and in winter there are actually a lot of ways you can turn the cold weather to your advantage, by making your home a warm and well lit refuge that has emotional appeal for potential buyers.

But quite apart from this, the assumption that your house will not sell as well in winter doesn’t take market forces into account. Traditionally the amount of houses for sale is much greater in the spring/summer months, and peaks around November, resulting in higher turnover and sales volume. Undoubtedly a negative attitude towards selling in winter has an influence on this, although it would be wrong to assume this was the only reason. People also tend to put off selling their homes (and all the hassles of moving) throughout the year, and it’s only when Christmas is looming and the year is reaching its conclusion that people really get motivated.

One of the consequences of this is that during the spring and summer months (September through March, but excluding Dec 15 – Jan 15) buyers have a lot more stock to choose from. This means that there is more competition amongst sellers rather than competition amongst buyers.

One could argue that during these months there are more people looking to buy, and this is true to some degree. But I have noticed that every winter, when only a handful of listings are trickling into the paper, the properties I have had on the market have experienced a huge amount of buyer activity resulting in quick, painless sales at great prices. One tender we just ran had over 80 separate buyers through two open homes and received six offers. A common theme I kept hearing from the potential purchasers was “there is nothing else on the market”.

Timing any market is speculative at best, but with the official cash rate now at 8.25% and floating rates approaching 11% everything is pointing to a correction in the market. The economists are getting bearish (see Tony Alexander’s commentary on the next page). Those people waiting till summer this year may not only have to deal with the increased competition from other sellers, but also a thinner and much more sedated pool of buyers.

Of course, at the end of the day, your circumstances will dictate the timing of a sale more than anything else. But if everything else is lined up then don’t let the winter months put you off making a move now.

Call me anytime on 021 764 647 for a free, no obligation appraisal of your home.


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