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First time buyer

5 December 2016

Selling your home in Winter

While families across the country, this weekend will be thinking about getting their Christmas decorations out of storage boxes, for homeowners with their houses on the market it can be difficult to think about anything aside from moving home. But without the sunny summer haze to emphasise a house’s best-selling points, at this time of year, homeowners have to work a little bit harder to make a sale. Here, Principality Building Society’s Head of Product Management and Pricing, Naveed Mohamed shares his tips for selling a house in winter. 

Spring and summer might be considered prime season for selling a house, but the wheel of the housing market continues to turn all year round. Although traditionally many people wait until the New Year to make big decisions of this kind, for those already in the midst of trying to sell their home, knowing how to work with what you’ve got is especially important. By following a few top tips, you can give your home a better chance of securing a sale in a busy time of year, giving you a head start over those who leave it till the New Year.   

Offer a warm welcome

As the cold weather has well and truly set in, giving house hunters a warm and cosy feeling as they step inside is a good way of making sure they feel relaxed and comfortable in the house. Consider setting the heating to come on before the buyer arrives so there’s no chance of them feeling chilly about the temperature or your home. Think too about the smell your potential buyer will be greeted with on arrival; using a perfumed diffuser in the entrance hallway for instance, can make your home smell fresh for visitors.

Fix those DIY problems 

When selling your home during winter, it’s likely you’ll spend much of the time showing prospective buyers around the inside of your home. With this in mind, make sure you have fixed all the small cosmetic problems around the house which could put buyers off. From leaky taps, cracked paint on the walls to making sure every light in each room of the house works, do what you can to fix these minor things before the potential buyer has a chance to notice. 

Let there be light

Unlike in the summer, sellers won’t be able to rely on natural sunlight to shine into different rooms, making them look bright and spacious. Instead, sellers at this time of year will be faced with the challenge of creating the same impression through artificial lighting, particularly during evening viewings. Create a cosy ambience by turning on appropriate lighting available, without going overboard. Make sure you pull back the curtains and open the blinds to offer any possible natural light available. 

Give the garden a makeover

Even if the weather is cold, a canny buyer will still want to look in the garden. An untidy garden can turn a prospective buyer off at any time of year, but in winter homeowners definitely don’t have luscious green trees or the smell of freshly mowed grass to do some of the leg work for them. Instead, this season sellers have to contend with sludgy leaves, debris and bare trees. Rake or sweep fallen leaves from the garden lawn and any pathways to the house, as well as removing any dead plants that might be on show. If you have garden furniture, it’s advisable to stow this away where possible, as it can often look weatherworn during winter after rain downpours. These simple tricks have the potential to make a garden space look inviting, even if it is cold outside. 

Keep the decorations tasteful

Don’t be afraid to put Christmas decorations up in your home; it will make the place feel homely. If it’s done tastefully, potential buyers won’t be put off by the Christmas lights or touch of tinsel. Going over the top could skew the buyer’s perception of living in the house themselves and could also make the rooms feel cluttered. Keeping the décor refined but sophisticated is the key. 

Published: 05/12/2016