Pros and cons of buying or selling a home in spring

There are pros and cons for selling your home in any season, but market activity is invariably highest in spring and early summer, says Tony Clarke, managing director of the Rawson Property Group.

“There are usually many more buyers with the onset of spring,” he says. “Part of this is almost certainly the psychological effect of the warmer weather, but it’s also because there are a lot of new properties being listed and it’s more fun going house-hunting in the sun. Homes are brighter, gardens are more colourful, and everything is fresh and green. It’s also an ideal time to think about what you’ll be needing in the new year, and what you can afford with expected bonuses and annual increases on the way.”

More buyers means more contenders for properties, and Clarke warns that spring purchases tend to be faster-paced and more competitive than other seasons.

“Buyers in spring should get pre-qualified by a bond originator,” he says. “This will give them an accurate idea of what they can afford, and also strengthen any offers they decide to make, giving them a better chance of being accepted over other buyers if they need to compete for a property they love.”

Sellers, of course, tend to enjoy this kind of buyer rivalry, as it often means faster sales and higher prices. However, since there are also more properties going up for sale during spring, they could find themselves facing stiff competition.

“Sellers should remember that they aren’t competing with the best house in their neighbourhood,” says Clarke. “They’re competing with the best house in your neighbourhood that’s on sale at the same time as yours. If there are only a few neighbouring homes for sale, as is often the case in winter, there’s a good chance that you’ll compare favourably and capture the attention of buyers. If there are several homes on sale, however, you may find yourself having to work a little harder.”

He says sellers should make use of the good weather to neaten and brighten up gardens, and enhance kerb appeal with some attractive landscaping. A fresh coat of paint on exteriors, and new varnish on wooden windows can also go a very long way towards improving the appeal of a home.

Sellers also need to make sure interiors are decluttered and sparkling clean.

“Steam-clean carpets, dry-clean curtains, and dust all those forgotten nooks and crannies,” he says. “Also make sure all your fixtures and fittings are in good working order and that everything looks well cared for.”

“The variety of opportunities available for buyers and sellers almost always outweighs the challenges of greater competition,” says Clarke. “With a little research and the right preparation, a spring sale can be good for everyone.”

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