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Chilly reception? How to make selling your home in winter a success

With colder temperatures and wet weather, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the winter months may not be the best time to put your house on the market. Seasonal sales data backs that up, with many people choosing to hold off listing while the mercury takes a dip. 31,802 homes were up for sale across the country on average in June, July and August between 2010 - 2023, with 8,885 new listings across the same period - the lowest number of all the seasons. Surprisingly though, 67% of new listings were converted to sales in winter, the highest conversion rate of the four seasons.

Bayleys Residential Director Johnny Sinclair says depending on the kind of property you have, winter may actually be one of the better times to sell.

“It all comes down to whether your property presents well. That includes the level of saturation on the lawns, to the amount of sun, as well as exposure to weather conditions. If that property does present well, then absolutely there is a very strong case to list during the off-season.”

It also means less competition against other listed properties.

“Historically our selling seasons are in the summer months. That's from October through to December, and then again in January through to April.”

“With a lot more stock, buyers have a lot more choice. In winter the buyer pool is there, but there’s going to be less stock and hopefully a lot more action.”

Sinclair says seasonal consideration is a big thing when it comes to selling, but he believes it isn’t as clear cut as just relying on summery conditions to get you over the line. He says there are some major benefits to selling in winter too, especially when buyers remain motivated all year round.

“There's a misconception that there’s less motivated buyers across those winter months, but as a buyer, you don't just turn the tap off and stop thinking about buying a property because of winter. You turn the tap off because you haven't found the right property.”


Sinclair says lock up and leave style properties and apartments tend to be most desirable, but it could be as simple as what direction your property is facing.

“If you're north facing you're actually going to get really good sun, but if you're west facing or south facing, you're not going to get any.”

Another big thing to consider is street appeal.

“Buyers are looking for that ‘X factor’ when they drive up a driveway. They want the property to tick all the boxes.”


As a first point, sellers are encouraged to pinpoint their target demographic before putting their property on the market.

“Is it a first time buyer? Is it an investor? Empty nesters? Or a family?”

Identifying the most valuable aspects for that buyer will help you to prioritise what improvements you can undertake pre-sale.

Where families may value fencing and security, first home buyers and investors will prioritise affordability, meaning a fresh coat of paint could be all you need.

Sinclair says the next thing to focus on is carrying out that maintenance to ensure it’s up to scratch.

“Making sure that there's no flickering lights and that the taps aren’t leaking, right through to some cosmetics that need to be addressed. Fixing those things will present a lot better for a discerning buyer.”

Even decluttering your house can make all the difference especially when the weather is wet and grey.

“You want to make sure that the property looks like it's got a huge amount of light, as well as a lot of space. You don't want to feel like you're getting wedged into a corner because you've got a whole lot of furniture in it.”

Sinclair says another way to brighten and warm up a home is by placing a huge amount of importance into ambience.

“That’s all of your senses like the sight, smell and feel of the property. You can target those by making sure that the windows are open and the curtains are pulled back so that the place feels dry.”

“If you’ve got extra touches handy like candles, or a fireplace, make sure you get them going or turn on some music and add some fresh flowers to a vase. All of those can really improve the overall ambience.”

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