Winter strategy for selling property
October . 2011
Winter is just around the corner and in a few weeks’ time the trees will be bare, bringing to an end the traditional Autumn property market. There has been a spate of transactions over the last month or two, but those Vendors who have not sold need to decide where to go from here. The winter months are not the most attractive to show off any house at its best and, while there continues to be a market with some strong and committed buyers, many houses will still suffer.
So here are some options to weigh and measure:
If you have to sell, then there is little choice but to keep your house on the market. The finer points of strategy are for discussion between you and your Agent and effective tactics need to be thrashed out that will give your property the best possible chance of selling over the Winter months. Think about having it re-evaluated, look at the marketing presentation, try to iron out glitches that have emerged from any feedback. There are often things that can be done to refresh the house and show it in a completely different light so now is the time to think laterally.
If you have to move, but don’t need the equity from a sale just yet, you should consider letting your house. This is a whole new ball game and you need advice on preparing the house for letting, not to mention legislation, tax, insurance etc. It needn’t be too complicated and the letting can be fully managed to save you the headache, but you may have to put in some initial effort yourself to secure a good tenant in the long run. You can let the property for six months or longer and then make a decision to sell again when the time is right.
You may be the executor of an estate and debating whether you should be waiting for a stronger market to sell a probate property. In this case the best option may be to attempt a simultaneous sale or let and go with whichever comes first. If you manage to sell the property then you will have fulfilled your responsibilities, and if not, a letting will keep the house occupied over the chillier months and you can attempt a sale once the daffodils are out.
If you are in no hurry to sell, however, there is little point in keeping your property on the market because it could start to look very stale. The obvious advice is to withdraw it until the Spring and enjoy it yourself. In the meantime keep a close eye on which comparable houses have been selling, so that you can make realistic and informed decisions when the time comes around for marketing again.