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Why hibernating during winter isn’t the selling tactic you think it is

By Anthony Webb
26 June 2024 | 12 minute read
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Typically, winter is a time when people enter a period of hibernation. Days become colder, nights grow longer, and we trade outdoor barbecues and days at the beach for anything that can be enjoyed from the comfort of being indoors.

Like most habits, routines and behaviours, buyer and seller behaviours shift in winter, with many holding off selling property, waiting for the flowers to arrive and the grass to green.

While the season isn’t widely perceived as an ideal time to sell your home, I see the cooler months as an opportunity for sellers to leverage the seasonal slowdown and list their property for sale in a less competitive market.

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Like bears in spring, vendors emerge all at once in September and immediately begin searching for food. So, why not take advantage of Victoria’s “sleepy” winter market and feed the hungry buyers without the competition?

For buyers, don’t let the chilling temperatures deter you from venturing to auctions. Prepared buyers and sellers should consider these tips before ruling out the next few months as the right time to start your home buying or selling journey.

Buyer behaviour

As sellers retreat and volumes decrease, buyer numbers hold steady. Winter typically attracts more serious and composed buyers who are removed from the frenzied pace of spring.

While we may not experience the ultra-low interest rates of 2021, the current market offers greater stability compared to this time last year. According to recent Canstar data, the big four banks predict the cash rate will be left unchanged until November this year, which should provide reassurance to prospective buyers and sellers.

Be prepared and have an open mind

If you are making a million-dollar decision, you must do your research. The right property for you could hit the market in winter, spring, summer or autumn, so you need to be ready regardless of the season.

By attending auctions and staying across the sold results, you will get a feel for the market and will deepen your knowledge for when it comes time to buy. With less stock on the market in winter, you will likely encounter a few contenders at auction. So, being well-researched in the lead-up to the auction is imperative so you can bid with confidence.

For buyers, having flexibility with your budget pays off. From initial research to the final purchase, a buyer’s ideal price range can shift by up to 20 per cent. While it is important to never overstep or overestimate your capacity to buy, it is important to remain mindful of this fact. Many buyers miss out on opportunities because they disregard options slightly outside their budget. Potential buyers often miss out on properties not because they have been outbid, but because of their hesitation.

Whether you are a budding buyer or a soon-to-be seller, being prepared and informed is key. So, embrace the season, adapt to its rhythms, and make your move confidently, whether buying or selling.

Anthony Webb is the head of Victoria, Belle Property and Hockingstuart.

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