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PROPERTY ADVICE 9 “Yes, there ismore activity that takes place in spring but honestly buyers are active year-round. It’s the stock in themarket that fluctuates, not the buyers.” – Andrew Robinson, Head of Franchise Sales and NSW Chief Auctioneer, Belle Property and Hockingstuart ‘‘ pring has long been touted as the ‘best’ season for buying and selling property. From a seller’s point of view, gardens are greener, flowers are in full bloom, and the weather lends itself to stunning open homes in the sunshine. And from a buyer’s point of view, because so many sellers hold out until spring, there are plenty of properties available to pick from. But what about winter? If you need to sell or buy during the cooler months, are the results really that different? We spoke to Andrew Robinson, Head of Franchise Sales and NSW Chief Auctioneer for Belle Property and Hockingstuart, about buying and selling during winter. As it turns out, there are many advantages. The Advantages of Buying inWinter 1. You’ll see the property’s full potential One of the first advantages of buying in winter is that typically you see the home in its worst state, meaning you see the full picture. “Sometimes in spring campaigns, you won’t notice if there are areas of the house that are a little dark or draughty because the weather and sunshine will mask it. Buying in winter means you see the property for its true self, so you’ll know if you really love it or not,” says Andrew. 2. There’s less competition Yes, there are fewer homes on themarket during winter because people tend to hold out until spring, but there are also fewer buyers, which means less competition. “Competition during spring is ruthless. In winter you’ll have far fewer buyers, so that might not only mean you get your dream home quicker but that there is more flexibility in price, settlement periods, and so on,” Andrew adds. 3. More time for your decision If you start looking in winter, you may find the home you’re after but if you don’t, you still have plenty of time to look and get on the radar of real estate agents before the busy spring period hits. “Even if you don’t find the property you’re after in winter, a definite advantage to starting your process during the cooler months is that you will find yourself months ahead of other buyers who enter in spring,” explains Andrew. “You will have built good relationships with agents in the areas you’re interested in, and they will know what you’re looking for, which means you’ll be first to get a call when the property you’re after hits the market during the busier spring period.” The Advantages of Selling inWinter 1. Less competition equals serious buyers When it comes to selling in winter, the advantages are similar. Less competition is a major advantage for sellers, too. “Selling in a time when there are fewer buyers means you’re only dealing with serious buyers. People looking to buy during the cooler months typically have their ducks in a row and are ready to make a move,” says Andrew. “That’s a serious advantage because you’re not dealing with people who could be wasting your or your agent’s time and you might even sell your property quicker than you expected.” 2. Showcase your home’s unique features While some properties will have their flaws hidden by the warmer and brighter weather during spring, some can use winter to their advantage. “If your home is north-facing and gets tonnes of light, winter is the perfect time to sell because it will truly showcase the benefit of your property over others,” says Andrew. “In spring, all homes are likely to look light-filled and warm, so winter can help your property stand out from the crowd. Especially if you consider professional styling, which will play to the features of your home and make sure buyers feel warm and cosy while they’re walking through.” 3. Buyers are active year-round While there is more activity during spring, it’s a bit of a myth that it is the only viable time to sell your property. “Yes, there is more activity that takes place in spring but honestly buyers are active year-round. It’s the stock in the market that fluctuates, not the buyers,” says Andrew. “Buyers typically base their decisions on their savings and the circumstances. So, if they are ready and keen to go, they won’t let the seasons hold them back,” adds Andrew. “Sellers also can rest assured if they choose to sell in winter, they will find a buyer and achieve a good result.” S Want more property advice? Head to sitchu.com.au/property TOP 4 ADVANTAGES SEETHEPROPERTY IN ITSTRUELIGHT Property flaws can be easier to see in winter, like dark rooms or areas that have a draught. These are more easily disguised in spring by the good weather. SIXMONTHSTOBUY On average it takes six months for buyers to find their dream home so starting in winter can be advantageous, even if you don’t purchase until spring. INCREASEYOURSALE BYUPTO12.5% If you’re selling in winter, consider investing in professional styling, which can result in a 7.5 to 12.5 per cent increase on your final sale price. ATTRACT YEAR-ROUNDBUYERS Property market stock fluctuates, but buyers don’t. Typically, there are buyers all year round, regardless of the season.

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