While the warmer months of the year tend to be peak times for buying and selling homes, there’s still ample opportunity in the cooler months, shares Chris Gray.
When it comes to entering the property market, instead of waiting for the perfect season and market conditions (low interest rates, high capital growth, relative ease to borrow from the bank, high supply of property, high rents), it’s best to buy when you have the available finances.
Guaranteeing a drop or fall in the market is nearly impossible, even for the experts. The cost of putting off your decision to invest, and therefore gain the long-term profits of homeownership, can be high.
Selling in the cooler months isn’t something that’s off limits. Given there tends to be fewer properties on the market in winter, you have the added advantage of less competition and more buyer exposure. As with any season, it’s important to focus on presentation and ensuring your indoor and outdoor areas are pristine.
TIPS FOR BUYING IN WINTER
Buy properties that tick the boxes
Focus on purchasing properties in small blocks in blue chip areas that are located five to 15 kilometres from major cities, as this will help ensure good long-term growth.
Other features that should be on your non-negotiable list include two or more good-sized bedrooms and a lock-up garage as these aspects will help ensure your property is always tenanted.
Research the suburbs
Consult real estate and local council websites to find out suburb growth rates, demographics and rental yields. Attend plenty of open homes and auctions in the areas you are considering to invest in to gain an understanding of typical prices.
It is advisable to consult an independent valuer, someone emotionally distanced from your investment who can provide an unbiased valuation of a prospective property.
Have finance pre-approved
When it comes to purchasing a property, time is of the essence. It is possible to obtain a lower purchase price simply by having a deposit and contract signed before other buyers. Having finance pre-approved is a great way to save time and increase your chances of locking in a purchase.
TIPS FOR SELLING IN WINTER
Create a warm atmosphere
Small touches can make a significant difference to your home’s overall appeal. To create a lasting positive impression with prospective buyers, invest in new coverings, rugs and cushions in warm shades like brown, red and gold. Select coverings made from wool and fur to create a cozy, welcoming feel.
Perfect outdoor area presentation
It can be easy to neglect outdoor areas in the cooler winter months, but they can be one of your property’s main selling points if presented well. Set up an outdoor heater to show buyers that gardens and outdoor areas can still be utilised in winter. Ensure lawns are freshly moved, hedges and flower beds are neatly trimmed and the pool is clean and sparkling.
Ensure there is enough light
Indoor areas can get quite dark in winter, even in the morning. Turn on all lights and remove clutter to create the illusion of more space. Clean windows and blinds to let as much natural light into the property as possible. Open windows throughout the property, even if it’s just a crack, otherwise it will be too stuffy with all the people inspecting.
About the Blogger
Chris Gray is the founder and CEO of specialist property buyers agency "Your Empire".