Is Winter Really A Bad Time To Sell Property

In one of his regular Switzer columns John McGrath dispelled the myth about selling property in winter.

While this was written a few years ago, this sage advice is just as relevant today.

McGrath said:

Legend has it that Winter is a bad time to sell.John Mcgrath

In most cases, it’s simply not true.

While we do typically see a reduction in the number of homes for sale during the colder months, genuine buyers really don’t care if it’s cold or raining.

They are far more concerned with buying now while interest rates are low and/or getting into growth markets like Sydney before prices get too high.

The passive buyers – those who are mildly interested but have no timeframe in mind, might indeed stay in bed on a cold Saturday morning.

But active buyers are out there – rain, hail or shine, attending opens and feeling as committed as they were in Autumn to securing their next home.

When demand is high and supply is low, you get better sale prices.

The season with the lowest supply is usually Winter.

So why is it a bad time to sell?

Put plainly, it’s not – it’s just a myth.

In growth markets like Sydney, Winter presents a golden opportunity for sellers.

With less competing homes available for sale, buyers will have no choice but to compete harder for yours! 

When it comes to property presentation and marketing, a lot of people overthink the seasonal aspect.

While I do agree that some properties present better in particular seasons, market forces are a much more important issue.

I’d say Sydney vendors are far better off getting their homes on the market now than waiting another few months until Spring.

In markets where demand is low and/or there are plenty of properties for sale, perhaps it might be worth waiting if your home is particularly suited to Spring, as you’ll need to do everything possible to make your home stand out and inviting for buyers to inspect it.

For example, if you own a property with amazing coastal views, then a warm sunny day would obviously highlight this best.

If you have a beautiful floral garden, then late Spring would be ideal.

Homes that present best in Winter are period homes where you can really amp-up the ‘cosy factor’. 23780238_l

Fireplaces, rich timber floors, underfloor heating, great lighting and heating are all features best showcased in Winter.

A warm, cosy, homey ambience can be really appealing; and the more emotionally connected a buyer feels, the more money they are usually willing to pay.

Properties with a fantastic north aspect or lots of natural light also do well in Winter.

Buyers love to see a light and bright home in the darkest of seasons.

Great light gives people an uplifting feeling and once again, that will contribute to their emotional connection with your home.

When it comes to seasons, Spring is the favourite followed closely by Autumn.

But these are also seasons where we see a lot of new stock coming onto the market, so supply goes up.

My best advice is to weigh-up the benefits of selling in today’s market conditions against the benefits of waiting for a different season that suits your home better.

If the market wins, don’t delay.

Want more of this type of information?


Australia's leading independent property commentator, brings together leading authorities on the property market. Each week at Real Estate Talk we take a fresh look at the property market so you get all the facts to help you make the right choice.

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