It is a well-accepted truth that houses sell best in Spring/Summer and to some extent that is true, but are you aware that houses can also sell themselves in the colder months of Autumn and Winter? In some cases, certain properties look better in this colder, darker time of year. We simply have to look carefully at these seasons and use them to our advantage.
Kerb Appeal and First Impressions
When selling a property, first impressions really do count. It has often been quoted that it takes just 20 seconds to know if a house feels right and equally 20 seconds to know that it isn’t the house you had been hoping for. As a vendor, it is vital to create a welcoming impression from the very first step on to your driveway or footpath leading up to the front door. Make sure the summer growth has been cut back and hedges trimmed, then try to keep on top of the fallen leaves – although a certain amount beneath a tree or scattered on a lawn can look appealing in the autumn sunshine. After that, take a look at your front door. Does it need a lick of paint? Do the accessories need a polish? Finally, add some seasonal glamour with a new door mat and a collection of planted containers with late flowering plants such as violas, cyclamen, pansies, ferns and heuchera.
In addition to the usual advice of decluttering the hallway of unwanted bags, coats and shoes it is important during the colder months to think about your viewers. They will often arrive with their own coats, bags and boots and it is welcoming and useful to create a space for them to remove shoes and place them on a mat or hang their heavy coats. This will leave them comfortable and relaxed to look at your house, plus your carpets will be protected!
Texture and light play a huge role during these colder months when dressing a living room or dining room. Adding some textured scatter cushions, knitted throws and lush rugs can make a room feel cosier and more inviting. If you have an open fire or log burner, try to light the fire ahead of the viewing so that there is a welcoming orange glow in the fireplace. A series of lit pillar candles can have a similar affect if it is too warm for a fire. Then make sure the lamps are on and the room is full of ambient light creating an oasis of warmth and a retreat from the world outside. A dining room can be dressed with an attractive table runner and a series of candles or tealights in seasonal tealight holders or even a large bouquet of seasonal flowers such as hydrangea heads.
Kitchens are notoriously colder looking rooms due to the shiny appliances and worksurfaces and in principle we want them to appear clutter free and streamlined but there are seasonal adjustments that can be made here too. Make sure the fruit bowl is loaded with lovely fresh-looking citrus fruits such as clementines, lemons and limes. These blemish rarely and give a splash of welcome colour. Attractive bottles of cooking oils and vinegars and a cookbook stand showing a cookbook open to a recipe of warming soups or a casserole, can create the right atmosphere. Again, it is important to check that all of the downlighters and kitchen lights are in good working order so that the kitchen is well lit even in the dullest weather.
Bedrooms & Bathrooms
Create a cosy welcoming and luxurious feeling in the bedrooms, especially the master bedroom with textured throws on the beds and scatter cushions. Stylish fresh bedlinen in seasonal colours can also add a ‘wow’ factor. Switch on the bedside lamps ahead of the viewing.
Bathrooms need to be free of everyday toiletries and tatty towels. Instead dress them with fresh white towels with a deep plush and some luxurious hand soaps and gels. A series of candles in decorative holders on a windowsill or bath surround can suggest a warm seductive bath time helping the viewers to fall in love with your bathroom.
Obviously, we cannot dress the patio furniture at this time of year, but it is important to present a clean and tidy patio area with flagstones that are free of moss so that viewers do not find themselves slipping on a damp day. The same tips apply to plants out here and the need to keep the shrubs and hedges trimmed and the lawn tidy. Outdoor lighting comes into its own during this season with the sun going down by around 4pm. Try some decorative lights in a couple of trees or along a patio wall/fence to liven up this space.
The Question of Christmas
For those vendors who are marketing their property over the Christmas period it is always a point of discussion whether to decorate the property for Christmas or not. We believe that done well, Christmas decorations actually add to the appeal of a property. A front door with a stunning Christmas wreath can set the tone for a warm and welcoming house within. A beautiful Christmas tree in the corner of a room adds a touch of sparkle with its twinkly lights and the aromas of pine needles, cinammon and clementines throughout the house from pot pourri or scented candles add that finishing touch. It is important however to show restraint. A house full of Christmas cards and too many wall hung decorations can appear cluttered. In this sense, less really can be more.
For more advice and information please contact our Residential Sales Team on 01491 571111 or check out our website www.simmonsandsons.com