They tend to be dismissed as a dead period. After all, it’s wet, cold, miserable - and families have fled to holiday in the sun…But when it all appears this bleak, there’s always a silver lining. And when it comes to selling property, the winter school holidays offer a few perks many people fail to consider.
If parents have taken leave from work to look after their kids, they’ll have some time up their sleeves to view and research properties (even buyers away on holiday can still be connected to the property scene via the internet). And when the weather’s cold and drizzly, buyers may find themselves twiddling thumbs, lost for things to do.
Because there’s this myth that the school holidays (and winter in particular) aren’t a good time to sell, there tend to be fewer properties on the market. So while some families will be away on holiday, your property may have better exposure to those staying at home and in a position to buy.
And many parents consider buying a home a ‘family experience’ and want to take their kids with them to viewings (especially if they have older kids), making the holidays one of the most convenient times to research property.
More determined buyers
The buyers that have chosen to stay home may have done so for a reason – they want or need to buy. Sometimes with buyers it comes down to quality over quantity. During the most popular selling periods, you can draw interest from far and wide, but many of these buyers turn out to be tyre-kickers with no intention of actually buying. Just remember, all you need is a few interested buyers with a strong intention to buy and you have the opportunity for a successful sale result.
It comes down to strategy…
Ultimately, whether the winter school holidays are a good time for you to sell depends on your location, sale strategy and type of property. If your house isn’t suited to families, for example, the school holidays are irrelevant to your target market. Or if your home is located near ski fields, the winter school holidays become the best time to sell, as you’ll be able to promote a lifestyle and target families with a keen interest in skiing.
Also, you need to evaluate the market. If property is short on supply and high on demand, you’d be foolish to hold off putting your house on the market just because it’s winter and school holidays – especially if conditions are indicating a shift towards a buyers’ market in the future. It’s usually the broader market conditions that have the biggest impact on sales results for property.
In many cases, a property takes a good four weeks or longer to sell. With this in mind, you can have the best of both worlds, as your sales period will stretch through the holidays into term time.
If you do decide to sell during the winter school holidays, make sure you style your home and garden for viewings appealing to this time of year:
- Use warm, earthy colours in your cushions, throws and accessories
- Light a crackling fire
- Make sure the heating is on full crank and every room feels warm and inviting
- Use soft, cozy artificial lighting to replace lack of sunlight
Most people decide to sell because of a change in circumstance or lifestyle. You may have to move to a different location, downsize or your family is growing and you need a larger home. It’s not always possible to ‘time’ putting your home on the market. In which case, it’s about making the most of the situation you’re in. And, as you see above, the winter school holidays do have their advantages.