It’s pretty commonly thought that spring is the best season to buy and sell property. From a seller’s point of view, gardens are greener, flowers are in full bloom and the weather lends itself to stunning open homes in the sunshine. From a buyer’s point of view, because so many sellers hold out until spring, there are plenty of properties available, meaning they have their pick of the bunch.
But what about winter? If you need to sell or buy during the cooler months, are the results really that different? We spoke to Andrew Robinson, NSW Chief Auctioneer for Belle Property and Hockingstuart about buying and selling during winter and turns out, there are actually advantages.
The advantages of buying in winter
- See the property's full potential
One of the first advantages of buying in winter is that typically you’re seeing the home in its worst state, meaning you are seeing the full picture.
“Sometimes in spring campaigns you won’t notice if there are areas of the house that are a little dark or draughty because the spring weather and sunshine will mask it. Buying in winter means you see the property for its true self, so you’ll know if you really love it or not,” says Andrew.
- Less competition
Yes, there are definitely less homes on the market during winter, because people tend to hold out until spring, but there are also less buyers, which means less competition.
“Competition during spring is ruthless. In winter you’ll have far less buyers, so that might not only mean you get your dream home quicker, but that there is more flexibility in price, settlement periods, etc.,” Andrew adds.
- More time for your decision
If you start looking in winter, you may find the home you’re after, but if you don’t, you still have plenty of time to look and get on the radar of real estate agents before the busy spring period hits.
“Even if you don’t find the property you’re after in winter, a definite advantage to starting your process during the cooler months is that you will find yourself months ahead other buyers who enter in spring. You will already have built good relationships with agents in the areas you’re interested in and they will know what you’re looking for, which means you’ll be first to get a call when the property you’re after hits the market during the busier spring period,” says Andrew.
The advantages of selling in winter
- Less competition = serious buyers
When it comes to selling in winter, the advantages are similar. Less competition is a major advantage for seller’s too.
“Selling in a time when there are less buyers means you are only dealing with serious buyers. People looking in winter, know that it’s not known as the best time to buy, so if they’re looking during the cooler months that means their ducks are in a row and they are ready to make a move,” says Andrew.
“That is a serious advantage because you’re not dealing with people who could be wasting your or your agents time and you might even sell your property quicker than you expected.”
- Highlighting your home's features
While some properties will have their flaws hidden by the warmer and brighter weather during spring, some can use winter to their advantage.
“If your home is north facing, and gets tonnes of light, winter is the perfect time to sell because it will truly showcase the benefit of your property over others,” explains Andrew.
“In spring, all homes are likely to look light filled and warm, so winter can help your property stand out from the crowd. Especially if you consider professional styling which will play to the features of your home and make sure buyers feel warm and cosy while they’re walking through.”
- Buyers are active year round
While there is more activity during spring, it is a bit of a myth that it is the only viable time to sell your property.
“Yes, there is more activity that takes place in spring, but truly, buyers are active year-round. It’s the stock in the market that fluctuates, not the buyers,” Andrew explains.
“Buyer’s typically base their decision on their savings and the circumstances. So, if they are ready and keen to go, they won’t let the seasons hold them back.
“Sellers can rest assured if they choose to sell in winter, they will find a buyer, and achieve a good result.”