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The myth of winter selling

John McGrath
Tuesday, July 23, 2019

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It’s the biggest myth in property and home owners currently waiting for Spring should really heed this message. Winter is NOT a bad time to sell! In fact, winter is usually an excellent time to sell because the number of competing homes for sale goes down (because people believe the myth!)

When you have fewer homes competing with yours for buyers, you’re far more likely to get a strong sale price. It’s the law of supply/demand and I believe winter is the best season to tip the balance in your favour.

Spring and autumn are the busiest times of the year – that’s when most people sell. I’m not saying you can’t sell well in these seasons but when the market is soft and buyer demand is lower, like it is now in Sydney and Melbourne, it’s best to sell when competition is lower, too.

In the first month of winter, we saw a bounce in auction clearance rates. Both Sydney and Melbourne began trending above 60%. This reflected not only a change in market mood following the election but also a change in supply/demand, with fewer homes going under the hammer.

If you believe the myth, buyers hibernate in winter. That’s simply not true. Sellers hibernate – and for no good reason!

Right now, a lack of stock in some of the most desirable suburbs is resulting in concentrated competition on only a few homes. Look around in your area – check out the number of homes for sale online. You’ll likely find a stock shortage, particularly in blue chip suburbs.

Buyers who need a new home are not going to be demotivated by a bit of rain and wind. That theory doesn’t make sense. The only people put off by poor weather are those not committed to buying, so think of it this way. On a cold, blustery day, the buyers attending your opens are more likely to be genuine. On lovely, warm summer days, you’re more likely to get a mix of real buyers and window shoppers attending opens for fun.

The other part of the myth is that homes don’t present well in winter. I’d argue that plenty of homes actually present better in winter. Federation homes with open wood fireplaces, period charm and a cosy ambience look fantastic in winter.

People want comfort in their homes and stepping inside a lovely, warm, beautiful family home on a rainy, cold Winter’s day is going to stir up plenty of emotional appeal.

Then, there’s the garden. Don’t believe it can’t look good in winter? These days, most city dwellers create minimalist, low maintenance gardens so they can spend more time enjoying them than working on them. If your backyard is full of manicured evergreens, selling in winter isn’t a problem.

Here’s the other big advantage to selling in winter. It puts you in the driver’s seat to buy in spring. That’s when you want to be buying, when stock levels are up and there’s more choice!

You’re less likely to go over budget bidding at auction if there are several properties you like for your next home. Spring is the ideal time to buy and if you do it early enough, you’ll have Christmas Day in your new home and the holiday season to settle in before the start of the 2020 school year.

Published: Tuesday, July 23, 2019


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