Winter is a good time to buy – and sell

Conventional wisdom says that winter is a bad time to market your home, but with fewer homes on the market there’s a good chance more buyers will be viewing yours.

This immaculate Zwaanswyk home with its beautiful lush green garden is an excellent example of a property that will attract buyer interest in winter – or at any time of year. The price is R17.95 million.

“Sellers are likely to achieve sale prices closer to the listing prices, especially for properties that are well maintained. Ideally, the property should be in a good state of repair to make it immediately habitable,” says Sandy Geffen, executive director of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty in South Africa.

She adds that for well-priced properties in good condition there are buyers year round – and not just in summer.

Dawn Bloch, area specialist for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty in Lakeside, Kirstenhof and Zwaanswyk says sellers believe that spring and summer are the most popular times to look for a new home and often wait to list their properties then, so buyers may have fewer homes to choose from in winter.

“But you could potentially get a much better deal too, because homeowners who are selling in this season are often more willing to negotiate. Also, most sellers will appreciate the fact that people willing to brave the winter weather to view their home are probably serious buyers, and their offer is worth considering,” she says.”

And house hunting during winter can be advantageous for buyers willing to brave the cold weather, as there will most probably be fewer other buyers searching, and much less competition when making an offer on a great home.

Other advantages to buying in winter are that when viewing a home in worst weather conditions, it’s easy to see if there are any leaks in the roof and if the plumbing, insulation and electrical systems all work properly.

Moving is also cheaper in winter, Geffen says, because it is a quiet period for removal companies and they tend to discount their prices. You will probably also have more flexibility when it comes to choosing a moving date.

Geffen offers the following tips for sellers who want to get their homes ready for sale in winter:

·         Make sure gutters are parallel to the roof edge and not sagging. Clear out leaves and branches and clean out any blockages in downpipes and make sure they are draining properly;
·         Scan ceilings for damp marks that may indicate roof leaks. Above floor level, crystallisation and or mould on walls are signs of rising damp, which must be attended to;
·         Wooden window frames should be regularly varnished, as rotting and split wood will be a source of leaks, and loose or creaky timber floors may be a sign of structural weakness;
·         If you have a fireplace, stack it with wood and pine cones. A gas fireplace may also be a good investment;
·         A fresh coat of paint and new carpets or flooring will add a new touch to any home and this cost should be factored into the sale price;
·         Staging your home to show it at its absolute best is equally important in rain or shine, which is why our agents will advise sellers about the proper approach to preparing their homes for show day;
·         Finally, remember that less is usually more and it’s the little things that can make the most difference. Make sure wood is polished, your home is filled with elegant aromas rather than the smell of cat litter and always declutter before show day.
Geoffrey Jäck, managing director of waterproofing and construction company Indawo, says you can paint the interior and even the exterior of your home during the rainy season.
“For exteriors you needn’t wait for the dry summer months, but if you find evidence of leaks, it is best to consult a reputable and industry-compliant water-proofer,” he says.

“Besides the obvious, like not painting while it is actually raining, or starting to apply your first coat when it is clear rain will start falling in the next hour or two, keeping an eye on the weather patterns will provide sufficient breaks in the rainfall to allow you to apply the first, and subsequent coats.”

Jäck says contractors may even offer discounts or reduced rates during the rainy season to keep their workforce busy. So although the project may take a little longer to complete due to the longer periods required for coats to dry, there could be a financial benefit in commissioning painting work during this time.

Geffen concludes: “In the Western Cape, gardens often look their best during the rainy winter season, so sellers should seriously consider not waiting for summer to put their homes on the market.”

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 22 Nov 2017
      The end of the year is fast approaching, and so are all the travellers, tourists and holidaymakers. For those who live near or own a property in a holiday-hotspot, the festive season also brings with it an abundance of short-term rental opportunities. Its a great way for property owners to make a few extra rand for their own holidays or to put towards their savings.
    • 21 Nov 2017
      The buying process is over, and the moving truck has delivered your household goods to your new property. Now it’s time to unpack and turn your new house into a home.
    • 21 Nov 2017
      When an offer to purchase a property is signed by both buyer and seller, this constitutes a binding agreement or “Deed of Sale” between the two parties. However, in most cases the “standard contract” might not be enough to cover all the specifics pertaining to the sale. The agreement may require some additions or alterations to clauses, which needs an expert hand in the drafting of such
    • 21 Nov 2017
      As more and more South Africans look to invest in property abroad, Spain is offering them one of the best deals in global real estate.
    • 20 Nov 2017
      Since 2012, sectional title complexes have been leading the South African property market, not only in terms of price growth, but sales volumes as well. Remaining relatively strong, even in the face of 2017’s political and economic turmoil, experts say this market segment could offer valuable insight into South Africans’ property purchase priorities.
    • 20 Nov 2017
      Regardless of whether you are purchasing your first start-up home, downsizing or moving in with roommates, finding ways to maximise small spaces can be a big advantage, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
    • 20 Nov 2017
      Property valued at approximately R1 billion is on High Street Auctions’ sales floor during the month of November, including the much-anticipated sale of the Tshwane Mayoral Residence and the land occupied by one of South Africa’s oldest operating gold mines.
    • 17 Nov 2017
      FWJK has announced the launch of its latest residential brand, the Lil’ Apple, which will be launched simultaneously in two developments in Cape Town and Umhlanga totaling 600 apartments. The Lil’ Apple is set to be a brand of FWJK’s New York style apartments which will be rolled out nationally.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us