As soon as the calendar hits September you can feel the property market wake up from its winter hibernation. Welcome to spring, one of the most competitive times of year to list your property. Here are some tips on how to prepare your place at this hectic time and make your property stand out from the crowd.
Advice for selling in spring
For the past few years I’ve been cautious about encouraging people to sell their property in spring. Why? Lots of people think this is the best time of year to sell, but actually a healthy buying market has less to do with the season and more to do with stock levels.
It may surprise you to learn that the number of buyers in the property market is fairly steady throughout the year. When there are fewer properties on the market, demand and prices go up, but if everyone thinks they should sell their property in spring, there’s a glut and results may not reflect the quality of the stock.
This spring is a little different to the past few. Interest rates are low and people aren’t selling at the rate they have in recent years, so the lack of stock means it’s a better spring than most to list your property. That being said, it’s still a competitive time to sell, so you’ll need to make sure your property is at its best.
Preparation and presentation
You only get one chance to impress a buyer, so make it count. Milder weather means people are happy to spend a little more time outside looking at the exterior of the property, so pay attention to the condition of your home. The facade should be neat, well maintained and inviting.
If you have a garden, make sure it is tidy and well kept. If it’s too early in the season for flowers or lush greenery, consider hiring a landscape gardener to plant something that blossoms early.
I strongly encourage homeowners to engage a property stylist to neutralise the space and enhance its positive features. The more you can remove your personality from the place, the easier it is for buyers to overlay their vision for the property, which encourages better sales. If you have psychedelic walls, for example, paint them white. A good stylist will give your place the edge over comparable properties for sale, so it is well worth the money to hire one.
Timing is everything
Every property has an optimum time for inspection, dependent on ambience. As the days become longer during springtime, the best time/s in terms of favourable natural light and comfortable temperature will change compared to winter. Identify the best time to show your property and schedule an inspection as soon as possible to ensure you secure that timeslot.
Because more sellers tend to list their properties at this time of year, it’s also a good idea to line up all the professionals you need to help you sell yours—your choice of real estate agent, property stylist and/or auctioneer—as early as possible. Keep an eye on demand for other services you may need, for example someone to make minor repairs, paint your property or landscape your garden, so you can engage the people you need when you need them.
Spring may be a traditionally competitive time of year to sell your property but with a bit of planning and knowledge about what’s going on in the market you can certainly edge out similar listings and use the season to your advantage. As I mentioned, this year stocks are lower than usual so it’s a good time to put your place on the market because the weather and the competition are less fierce.