Traditionally, the winter season isn’t seen as a prime time to be selling a home, but the property portals tell a different story. Boxing Day in particular sees a surge of buyer activity, and we believe there are plenty of other benefits too for selling during the Christmas period. Here are a few of them plus some top tips for selling this December…
Portals see a surge in web hits
All of the portals claim that they see a substantial spike in web hits over the festive season, in particular Boxing Day. Rightmove for example have announced that last year they recorded 51 million visits between Boxing Day and new year – a 54% rise on the year before. With free time on their hands combined with the digital age we now live in, it’s of no surprise that people are browsing on their tablets and mobile phones to see whether they can find their dream home – often it’s a new year’s resolution. We too have seen internet traffic on our website increase during the Christmas holidays, so it is absolutely vital that sellers are taking advantage of this online activity. Last year, we received 30 phone calls and 18 emails from the portals we advertise on, and I suspect we shall see the same if not more this year as the buying frenzy for country life continues as a result of the pandemic.
There’s reduced competition
There’s usually far more buyers than there are properties for sale over the winter season, which means sellers don’t have to ‘compete’ with as many people to grab the attention of purchasers. This tends to have a positive impact on how high the offers are …
Buyer demand is still going strong
Over the last eighteen months, many of our houses sold within a week of launching to market – most of them within a month. This intense demand is still going strong, far outpacing the volume of good quality of homes for sale. We are organising on average 10 viewings on our homes, even now when we’re just 3 weeks away from Christmas Day! Buyers are still paying a premium to live in and around Stamford, Rutland and South Lincs too, in their quest for an idyllic life in the countryside. Our sellers who have seen the best sales results are those with homes in good condition, have large gardens, a good alfresco entertaining area and either a separate office or a dedicated study within the house itself. Now is the perfect time to be taking advantage of this activity.
Homes are warm and cosy
Winter is the perfect time to play on your home’s cosy, family-friendly charm, especially on viewings. There’s something quite magical about walking into a property and seeing the warm glow of table lamps, candle light and a fire, alongside tabletop centre pieces with winter greenery and seasonal senses including a cinnamon diffuser and a freshly cut Christmas tree. It makes a buyer imagine exactly what it would be like for them to spend Christmas there themselves.
Be careful with seasonal photographs
It’s better if you have photographs taken before you put your decorations up, or have them removed temporarily whilst pictures are being taken. This is because if your home is still on the market in the new year, you will give away how long it’s been on the market for if buyers can still see any hint of Father Christmas and his reindeer.
Be tasteful with your decorations
Try to keep Christmas decorations simple rather than garish, as buyers could easily be put off on viewings if there’s colourful ornaments, inflatable santa’s and flashing bright lights everywhere.
Remove the signs of winter from your home
Presentation is key when selling, even more so in winter when the rooms will feel darker and mud and dust will be around far more than in the warmer months. You need to ensure your house is looking its very best in photographs and on viewings, so deep clean absolutely everywhere (especially if you have dogs!), hoover regularly, salt icy driveways and sweep the paths and garden free of leaves and debris.
Warm the house up
It’s no doubt going to be cold so ensure the heating is on long before the first viewing arrives. A lit fire is an added bonus for creating a lovely ambiance should you have one, two or three!
Winter brings much darker days, so you need to allow as much daylight in as possible for viewings. Ensure all curtains and blinds are open, turn on all of your lights, invest in higher wattage bulbs and remove large objects away from windows where they may be blocking natural light.
Book viewings during daylight
If possible, try and have viewings during the day when it’s light so that buyers can see your home as best as they can.
Find an agent who is open during the holidays
In addition to choosing a good estate agent who truly understands their local property market, knows how to promote your home to the widest possible audience, and won’t overprice your house in order to win your business, it’s worth having somebody who is open during the Christmas holidays. Ideally, you want them at least responding to buyer enquiries, even if it’s for booking viewings in for the new year rather than the latter part of December. Do let them know if you are happy to have viewings between the 27th and new years however – just remember to tell them when you will be entertaining guests!
Find Out More
For more information about selling your country house in Rutland, Stamford or South Lincs, contact Ildi or Jan on 01780 750 200 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org