In this month’s blog, we’re exploring the circumstances of selling a property, what time of year is best and things to consider to make the whole process as easy as possible. Our aim with this is to disprove some selling misconceptions such as seasonal change affecting sales and inform our readers about how their property could presented in a way that appeals to buyers whatever the season. We will inform you on how your home should be presented to buyers with different styles and accentuations. We will also advise what other considerations may make the selling process easier if attended to prior to placing your home on the market.
A lot of people tend to believe spring is the best time to sell their house. Don’t believe the hype. The idea is that winter is finished, the leaves are growing back, flowers are blooming and everyone who stayed inside during winter comes out of hibernation. You might be surprised to know that spring doesn’t have a high rate of sales compared to other times of the year; but does historically have higher supply, i.e. more listing for sale. It’s advantageous to avoid putting your house up for sale when competition for similar houses to your own is high. Too much competition means more choice for buyers and potentially longer days on market for seller. Selling under these circumstances may also mean downward pressure on pricing.
There are seasonal features that properties have that may help when selling in summer or winter. For example, when selling during summer you can use it as an opportunity to showcase things such as the effectiveness of solar panels, the benefits of good air conditioning and insulation (worth upgrading to make the sale) and if you have one… nothing is more appealing in the heat than a sparkling swimming pool!
Alternatively, in winter, showing off features such as heating and insulation, cosy reading spots and soothing fireplaces are all winners. There is nothing more satisfying in winter than knowing you can come home to a human toaster. Times are changing and things are becoming more convenient, specifically with innovative smart devices. If you are upgrading your air conditioning/heating system prior to selling, it would be worth considering investing in a ducted smart system. This means it can be controlled by smart phone or tablet to control which rooms are cooled or heated. Think of it as parental controls for your air flow.
The appearance of your property often reflects the perceived maintenance on a property, a little can go a long way so when selling property it’s important to consider the property from a buyer’s perspective. It isn’t necessarily bad to have a home that looks lived in but addressing wear and tear is important. There’s a difference between your house looking lived in and your house looking worn out. It is always a good idea to fix any issues that are noticed by any of your five senses: oil hinges, clean floors and walls, fix any minor issues (paint, damaged plaster, etc.) and be aware of any smells. Also be conscious of any garden or lawn space you might have, the garden is the first and last impression of the property. Sometimes people are put off by gardens or lack thereof. If you have a garden then make it look as low maintenance as possible with a few hours weeding and a couple bags of mulch.
Upgrading or Downsizing
Usually having a child means it’s time to upgrade your home, which you might be able to put off for a couple of years with one child, but as the child grows or more come along… you will need more room. Having children is wonderful, but can also be hard on finances. Consider putting together a budget taking into account all the essentials plus all the fun stuff that give you your desired lifestyle. Doing this will give you the confidence you need upgrade your home but remain within a comfortable price range.
The event of downsizing is a different story. For some it could be due to issues such as a divorce, kids have moved out or retirement has finally come. If you have children that have grown up and moved out you might want to consider if it’s permanent or temporary. Selling your home isn’t just about financial or market timing, but also personal timing. Keep in mind that the rooms your children once filled might be filled by them again in the event of visits or even the potential of grandchildren.
In the event of downsizing for retirement you will need to take your superannuation into account. Downsizing after retirement is a good move and can free up ‘fun money’, but keep your assets in mind if you aren’t self funded and rely on full or part pension – you can’t eat your house. If you are planning to retire and want to downsize then a focus on planning your future finances will provide peace of mind. Visiting the government’s Money Smart website can be a useful resource to assist with this.
Super vs mortgage calculator – https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/tools-and-resources/calculators-and-apps/super-vs-mortgage-calculator
We know there are a number of variables when selling your property and lining everything up can be a challenging endeavour. Never underestimate the help of a good realtor, they will provide a checklist and help tick everything off in a methodical way. Assess your local market indicators and competition, researching what time of year that demand for your property is likely to be high. Upgrade the features of your property where necessary, ask your local realtor what is going to help increase value and be a good return on investment. Keep your finances in check; if you’re upgrading, seek out an experienced finance broker and if you’re downsizing, assess how it could affect your pension. But most of all make sure you are ready! Selling a house is a big decision, as is buying one and your happiness and confidence is paramount to a pleasant transition.