Sellers brave the cold
Spring might be seen as the prime house selling season but savvy home owners can certainly prosper in winter.
Figures from RP Data show more houses were sold in June than any of the spring months, a fact backed up by many real estate agents. RP Data's 2011 sales volumes breakdown shows June had the third-highest monthly sales for the year with 6088, beaten only by March (7535) and April (6280).
The winter quarter of June, July and August also recorded more sales than its spring counterparts, with a total of 16,492 sales compared with 15,886 for September-November. Barry Plant Taylors Lakes' director James Hatzimoisis said there were many reasons people should sell in winter.
"Some homes lend themselves really well to being on the market in winter, for example, homes with a really nice ambience about them with fireplaces. Or even an alfresco area with a strip heater or a firepit or something where you can really set the mood. The reality is good property will always sell at any time of the year. But most of the time there's not as much competition in winter. That's the big difference".
Another real estate director, Darren agreed."I think it's a fantastic time of the year to sell; you find on a weekend when you do opens that the buyers are really genuine buyers and ready to go", he said.
Staged Homes stylist Katrina Maes said simple additions such as thicker rugs and doonas, ambient lighting and a well-heated home went a long way in presenting a winter sale.
"There's always movement in the property market and I know people get a bit nervous (in winter). But if you're putting your house on the market and it looks amazing and really appeals in the colder months, you're definitely in front of your competition" Ms Maes said.
"Quality photographs can also be the difference in a successful winter sale", Urban Angles director John Wheatley said.
"You must have the highest level of retouching in winter because of the low light conditions and the sun being at very low points. Being prepared in winter is the key; getting out there and shooting a bit earlier than you would normally, especially before dusk to combat the darkness, it's more important in winter that all light fittings work, all windows are clean, and often during the middle of a winter day you can get a feeling of a dusk shoot inside because the sun is lower."
Warm up your winter sale
Home stylist Katrina Maes, owner of Staged Homes shares her tips for selling in winter:
1) Always use warmer tones, fluffier rugs, thicker doonas, and more textured floor rugs.
2) If you've got a fireplace get it going, being careful that it doesn't smoke.
3) Open everything up two hours before the inspection to get some fresh air through but then make sure it's toasty and warm once people arrive.
4) Make sure that all your ambient lights are on: your standard lamps, bedside lamps and any table lamps. It offers warmth and invitation.
5) It's all about the artwork. It marks the space between the couch and the ceiling.
6) Even though it's outdoors, the alfresco is extra living space so put out a table and chairs, it allows people to see what they could do.