At this time of year, retailers crank the handle on marketing and promotion to convince homeowners that they’re underprepared for the colder months. It’s easy to be a little cynical. However, it’s worth ticking off a list of potential annoyances to stop them from blowing through cracks over winter.
Here’s our checklist:
Heating: How’s your firewood pile? A mixture of pine (burns more rapidly) and manuka (more dense, slower burn) works well. Check your supplier has a dry source (at least a year undercover). Is your heater up to scratch? Consumer.org.nz offers great pointers. All electric heaters are 100 percent efficient – that is, they convert every bit of electrical energy into useful heat. But they differ markedly in the way they distribute the heat in a room. Here’s a Consumer’s assessment of which type of heater is best for different situations. Heat pump? It’s time to clean the filter.
Floor coverings: Homeowners with underfloor heating can skip this section. But if you walk on tiles or wooden floors, consider increasing the size or number of floor coverings. Pinterest is a goldmine of ideas.
Window coverings: Curtain/blinds still doing the job? Experts say around 18% of the total heat within a house is lost through windows, via radiation through glazing, convection, and conduction through window frames. Also, consider the new generation of blinds that offer improved R-values (a measure of an insulation’s ability to reduce the rate of heat flow). It pays to know your R-values (and U-values).
Texture: The right combination of textures and colours can enhance the sense of warmth inside the home. Think velvet, cushions, knitted throws, and even warming hints provided by timber or brass.
What about selling?
Winter is regarded as the worst time to sell. New listings tend to shrink and buying interest can sometimes wane.
At the time of writing, listings continue to increase, with homes for sale at an eight-year high, according to figures published by property website Realestate.co.nz. Specifically, 29,284 residential dwellings were available for sale at the end of March – the highest number in any month of the year since November 2015.
That’s good news for buyers – and maybe sellers, too.
Certainly, there’s more competition for attention and interest, but abundant supply is likely to encourage buyers out of the woodwork.
You’ll need to make subtle adjustments to your marketing. For example, if your landscaping looks a little under the winter weather then be sure to include lots of images that show your grounds in full spring/summer splendour.
Remember that every agent has a story to tell about a deal made in winter. They’ll tell you that heavier media attention on home warmth and comforts during winter often piques interest in homes.
Furthermore, less time spent outdoors acts as a forced break from routine, creating time to put home fantasies into action.
Bucking accepted wisdom about the best time to sell can play in a vendor’s favour. Talk to Brendan Goodwin to understand the pros and cons of going to market now. Contact Brendan on 021 278 7770 of email firstname.lastname@example.org