Even though there is a perception amongst sellers that it is not a wise decision to list your property during the winter months, statistics at one of Seeff’s offices in Gauteng show that it doesn’t really make that big a difference when you list your property.
Steve van Wyk, Seeff’s MD in Centurion, says statistics at the Centurion office over the past 20 years indicate that the property market over the winter period is almost just as active as during the summer months.
“We do however experience a 10% decrease in turnover in June and July, but the most important factors to keep in mind whenever you list your property remains price, location and condition of the home – not the season of the year.
Van Wyk says because of the perception that you should not sell your property in winter, fewer people list their homes during this time and this can actually be a good thing because the competition is less and you may have a better chance of selling provided the price is right, the home is located in a sought after location and the condition of the home is good.
Also, buyers who attend show houses during winter months are often serious buyers and are not merely “shopping around”.
Gerhard van der Linde, Seeff’s MD in Pretoria East offers the following tips to sellers who list their properties in winter:
- Properties are competing with other properties whenever it is presented to a buyer. Therefore in the winter months there should be an emphasis on making your property cosy, warm and inviting.
- If you have a fire place light it up. Soft lighting and heavy rugs can also help with making the home more inviting.
- Allow whatever sun is available to shine into the home
- Speak to your agent regarding the best time of day to show your home.
- Even though gardens aren’t at peak condition during the winter months, ensure that the garden is free from excessive leaves. Having it optimally manicured will also leave a favourable impression with potential buyers – especially if previous or future homes that they view don’t have neat gardens.
- In the northern parts of the country we do not have rain during the winter months and this makes it an opportune time to do touch up and painting of the exterior which will also present well when the home is showed.
Trevor Sturgess, Seeff’s MD in Kibler Park, says everyone, but especially buyers who obtain properties just before winter, should keep an eye on their electricity consumption as this can incur extra costs in a period that is already expensive for the average household.
“Power can be saved by using gas to boil water and a solar or gas geyser can be used for hot water supply.
Basic home electricity saving techniques is also a big help. Make sure that all your lights are LED, low energy bulbs. These still offer a lot of light with much lower power usage. Switch your geyser off when it's not needed and use less hot water around the home, for example during your washing machine’s washing cycle.
Use gas heaters instead of electric heaters, which use a lot of power. Also seal up windows which don't close properly using foam tape. This will assist to keep the warmth inside your home”.
Sturgess continues that setting up solar electricity at your home can cost anything from R50 000 to R250 000 and upwards depending on the size of your home. These systems also require new batteries every few years at an additional cost. Most households won't be able to afford this and it is therefore imperative to follow simpler and more affordable electricity saving tips.
“Given South Africa's situation where reliable electricity power has become questionable, looking at alternative means of operating is becoming a necessity – especially in the winter months.
Having a generator in place for when the electricity is down is a great way to lessen the inconvenience. A good size generator for home use costs around R12 000, but smaller generators priced at under R5000 can also be used for lights, TV, Wi-Fi etc.”