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The best way to market and sell your home this winter

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Winter is often a challenging time to sell your home but here are some top tips to nail the deal.

The housing market tends to cool in the winter months as many sellers postpone marketing their homes until the spring.

However, with fewer competing properties on the market and growing demand from buyers, winter can be a good time to market your home and get ahead of the New Year rush.

NAEA Propertymark has put together the following tips to help with marketing your property during the winter:

First impressions count

The first seconds upon arriving at a property really impact the buyer’s decisions, so make sure it looks well maintained and cared for from outside, with windows and walls freshly washed to remove any dirt brought by the winter weather. Clear the path of leaves and make sure there isn’t any ice around which could cause potential buyers to slip.

Be flexible

With less daylight hours available for potential buyers to view your house, you should be as flexible as possible with viewings, so prospective buyers can see it when it’s convenient for them. Your estate agent should help you work around these tricky daylight hours.

A warm welcome

Making sure a home is warm and well-lit can encourage potential buyers to stay longer and help them to envisage themselves living in your property – especially during the winter. Additions such as welcoming garden lights to enhance the entrance to your home can appeal to buyers’ imaginations. If you have a gas fireplace or a clean woodstove, light a fire to welcome visitors and create a warm and cosy ambience. If your home’s wood-burning fireplace leaves a smoky smell in the room, hold off.

Feeling festive

You should decorate for the Christmas period but don’t go overboard; a house that is over cluttered with Christmas décor can deter buyers. A few festive fairy lights, cinnamon scented candles and a decorated Christmas tree can enhance a homely feel and paint a positive picture for potential buyers.

Garden space and showcasing all season

An unkempt garden can detract buyers, as it looks like lots of work needs to be done. It’s worth spending a few hours trimming bushes, mowing the lawn, and removing fallen leaves and dead plants to make a tidy outdoor space. It’s also a good idea to trim back overhanging branches, to prevent any from blocking the windows to encourage as much light as possible to flood the property.

With the winter rainfall, check your guttering too, make sure they’re well maintained and clear of any debris and fallen leaves, as leaky gutters and pipes cause damage. Viewings on dark winter nights fail to show the potential of your garden, so have photos available to show potential buyers what the property looks like during warmer weather too.

Tackle those DIY jobs

Make sure all the small maintenance jobs have been finished before you put your home on the market – such as fixing leaky taps or painting over cracks on the walls.  Despite the fact you might not notice it, potential buyers will and fresh internal décor and paintwork goes a long way.

Lastly…winter break

If you are planning to head off for a winter break, don’t forget to leave the heating on at a low temperature (minimum of 15°c) to prevent the pipes from freezing. If you are away for a long period and don’t want to keep the heating on 24/7, set it on a timer. This will ensure there are no problems upon your return to be dealt with before showing your home to prospective buyers.

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