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Winter is here, should I sell?

By Cameron Smart

Winter is typically thought to be the slowest over the year in terms of real estate sales, compared with Spring as being seen as the best time to sell. The choice by most people to wait until Spring to sell does only one thing, and that is to give the buyers the control in the market. When there is a large influx of properties coming to the market at one particular time of the year, buyers are spoiled with choice or which property they want and time. As there are only a limited number of buyers for any one time, the number of “buyers to homes for sale ratio” is dramatically decreased in Spring.

Property owners who are considering selling in Spring should get one up on majority of their competitors and neighbours by getting their property ready to sell during Winter. Beating the rush of properties on the market will greatly increase the chances of securing a sale within a desirable time frame and for a price that the owners are happy with.

Don’t worry about the weather, a buyer will still buy a property on a rainy day if it is the “one” he/she is looking for. If winter is the worst time to sell then how do so many real estate agents across Australia sell so much property, including the Winter months? It’s not as if buyers hibernate with the bears, they are out with their raincoats and gumboots looking for property.

To the week ending on the 13th of June 2012, there were 786 properties sold, this is up on the same week last year (2011) by about 200 properties. Yes there are more buyers out this year, but even last year when things weren’t as great as they are in 2012 there were still 500 properties sold in WA between the 6th and 13th of June. Buyers do come out in Winter, and they do buy property.

As Winter usually has the least amount of competition, wouldn’t you consider this to be the best time to sell? With buyer enquiry up compared to last year, and listing numbers down significantly there has not been a better position for a seller to be in for a few years at least. Although this may come across as an opportunity to hike up the prices on property, buyers are still very price sensitive, and will have no qualms walking away from a property or overlooking it if it’s not good value for money.

With this in mind there are two types of property on the market for sale at the moment.

Number one, the property is over priced and has been on the market for 3-9 weeks and has had little interest, a few inspections and maybe 1-2 offers that do not meet the owners expectations.

Number 2, the property is under offer and unavailable because it was priced correctly and a buyer made a move on it because it was good value.

Examples of this can be seen in and around the City of Canning and City of Gosnells, in particular in Cannington, East Cannington, Beckenham, Parkwood, Lynwood, Ferndale and Queens Park. With a lack of quality 3 and 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom homes there is a demand that outstrips supply, where quality and price play a factor in days on the market. Some premium quality homes take slightly longer to sell, and the well priced standard quality homes are sold in a matter of days.

Of course Winter is not the only great time to sell property, it is just one of the times nobody else thinks so. Yes, Summer and Spring do have their benefits, but for properties with large gardens and high maintenance, these months can be difficult with upkeep and keeping them green enough to present properly. Properties with pools and decking will obviously not be as inviting in the cold Winter months, and investment targeted properties (low maintenance and under $500,000) are best to sell in Autumn before the End of Financial Year.

All in all, it really comes down to personal preference in believing when the best time to sell is, some people believe its a feeling you get during a particular season, for others its about when it will present best, and others when will their be the least amount of competition. There is no absolute guarantee on when the best time to sell is

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