It's the most wonderful time of the year – although perhaps not when it comes to selling your home! The festive season might be filled with merriment, but it's not thought to be conducive to successful property sales, and nor are the following winter months.
From decorations during December (a big photography no-no) through to post-Christmas clutter and dreary January weather, it's not surprising that winter isn't a popular time for people to put their home on the market.
The problem is, sometimes there's no other option. So, what should you do if you choose to sell your home during the winter? Well, first things first, don't panic! Even if the sun isn't shining and your garden isn't in full blossom, there are plenty of ways to make your home sparkle, whatever the weather.
Here are our five top tips for a more successful selling experience during the wintertime.
It might not be bright and beautiful, but you can play to the strengths of a miserable cold day by creating your own welcoming and homely haven. After all, there's nothing better than stepping into a cosy sanctuary when it's miserable outside. The only problem is, your visitors might not want to leave…
Take advantage of the greyer days and darker evenings by lighting your home well. It's a great idea to keep your curtains open – even after the sun drops – so that light floods outside. If viewers are walking up your driveway on a late afternoon, the first thing they see will be a gorgeous glow through the windows.
In our opinion, there's nothing more inviting than a roaring fire, so if you're lucky enough to have a fireplace, light it up! You can also get the glow by lighting candles – apart from cheering up a room, candles offer a great way to create a wonderful aroma in your home. Sweet scents of seasonal spices and winter berries are sure to delight the senses on a chilly winter's day.
Baby, it's cold outside – so invite your visitors into the warmth of your home! While you don't need to crank the heat all the way up, you'll want to make sure that all of the rooms in your house are comfortably warm. A freezing cold reception is never going to make a good impression.
It's also important to remember to make preparations if viewings are scheduled to take place while you're out. There's no need to leave the heating on all day; just make sure that you set your thermostat or timer.
Not only will a warm house be far more pleasant for visitors to wander around, it will also reassure them that everything is in working order. A freezing home raises suspicions of poor insulation, faulty boilers and bad central heating.
For even the most green-fingered homeowner, the winter weather can create havoc with your garden. Dying plants, swamp-like lawns and neglected flowerbeds tend to reign during this season. But although your garden won't be springing into new life anytime soon, you can take steps to ensure it's looking as good as possible.
It's unlikely that people will be scrutinising your garden or spend lots of time exploring the outside space during the winter, but you should still make sure it's presentable. Mow the lawn if possible; trim any foliage; sweep away dead leaves; get rid of weeds; clean out the gutters, and so on.
Don't forget to declutter! Make sure there aren't children's toys strewn around; check for stray gardening equipment and hoses; and move bins out of the way. If there's a patio or decking, then give it a wash to remove unsightly mud and moss.
Try to envisage your garden as an extra room in your house; as you'd make sure the inside rooms are clean and tidy, do the same for the outside. Remember that for some viewers, the garden might an important selling point.
When you're welcoming viewers during winter, you'll want to protect your home from the season's biggest perils.
It might be because you're using it more or simply because of sod's law, but boilers are inclined to have problems during the winter. So, be proactive and get it serviced – you don't want it breaking when you have a day of viewings coming up! You can also winterise your home by checking your insulation and adding more if necessary; putting draught excluders under your doors; and clearing your gutters to avoid overflowing water and damp.
If you have a chimney, it would be sensible to get it professionally swept. If it hasn't been used during the preceding warmer months, there's the risk that it could be blocked with twigs and bird nests. On the other hand, if it has been used frequently during the winter, it could be full of excess soot. Either way, there's the possibility that an un-swept chimney could lead to smoke billowing out when it's lit or – worst case scenario – a house fire. Neither of which is ideal if you're trying to sell your home!
Heading outside, check that ponds or fountains are cleaned and drained completely if necessary; make sure that patio furniture, including upholstery, is stored away to avoid it being damaged by rain and ice; and do a safety check of any steps and patio areas. You don't want viewers slipping on an icy surface!
'Tis the season to be muddy outside, but if you've spent hours cleaning your home, you don't want your hard work ruined by a set of mucky footprints! Young children and excited dogs are the worst culprits for this; it's time to enforce your house rules to two- and four-legged family members, and make sure that feet and paws are properly cleaned before anyone comes inside.
If you don't have a porch or utility room, think about putting a boot scraper and doormat outside so it's easy to clean off the worst of the dirt before visitors enter the house. You could also get a doormat inside to avoid people stepping directly on your floor in their shoes.
If you are ready to sell, we’d love to help - why wait? We can get you cracking, come rain or shine.
Just call us on 01905 384848 or drop us a line at email@example.com and we’ll help get you on the move.