Winter has arrived and while property markets are so strong in some cities that it seems more like spring, others have just about gone into hibernation.
Many people would prefer to sell in the warmer months, when the gardens are in full bloom and a house is looking its best, but selling in winter can have its advantages. Mainly, it means less competition from other properties; so you get more of the buyers to yourself.
And nationally, there is a far greater number of buyers pounding the pavement every Saturday, thanks to the historic low interest rates. It is a great time to be paying off a mortgage and plenty of people are looking to get in on the action before rates begin to rise, which is tipped to happen sometime in the new year.
So, with demand at an unseasonal high, sellers only need to worry about the temperatures. This is another easy hurdle to overcome when you consider that a winter in most parts of Australia means changing from t-shirt to jumper to head to an open house.
Mild weather has lasted much longer already than in previous years and even if the mercury plunges, the effects are nothing like northern hemisphere countries, where snowdrifts and sub zero temperature mean it can be literally impossible to go and see a house. So, while Europeans and Americans batten down the hatches during their cold season, Aussies just have to contend with a bit of steam coming off the auctioneer’s gavel.
Of course, if you do decide to sell your home in the colder months, it can pay to think about how best to present your property, to take people’s minds off the cooler clime, and grab even more of an edge on the competition.
Decorating with heavier fabrics and throw rugs can make a home seem warm and inviting; while the use of darker colours can add to the cosiness.
It also helps to enhance winter features, by making sure natural or gas fires are operating throughout inspections and using mellow lighting. While in the hotter months you want to make your home as neutral as possible, maintaining that warmth in winter might just make a difference.
Tim McIntyre is the senior real estate reporter for the Daily Telegraph and News.com.au.
Over the past decade, he has attained widespread knowledge of Australia’s many unique property markets and is an authority on all things buying, selling and investing.
His commentary appears every Saturday in the Daily Telegraph Real Estate lift out, as well as online at news.com.au.