Why selling during the winter might be a good idea?
It is true that real estate market slows down during the winter, but it shouldn't stop you for listing your home precisely in this time of the year. Believe it or not, the holiday season, and winter at all, can be a great time to sell your home. And why I am telling you that?
First of all, during the winter months there is less inventory, or homes available for purchase, so you get less competition. With right steps, you can go under the contract and close the transaction faster. And by saying that, I mean that lenders are also less overwhelmed with other transactions, but not just lenders. Other people that are involved in the transaction like handymen, inspectors, appraisers, etc. are also more available and can help get transaction close on time. During the chilly season professionals will be able to give you more dedicated time.
So, make your home warm and inviting and open it up to those looking to buy, because selling your home during the holidays might be your best present this year, if you catch festive time of the year.
Other great advantage in selling during the winter is that there are less buyers, which is not got - sure, but those who are on the market searching for the home during the freezing temperatures are more serious.
What you can do to increase your chances to sell your home faster?
Stage your home.
One thing that happens to all homeowners is that we tend to accumulate a lot of stuff. This is especially true of holiday decorations. As you begin decorating, channel your inner stager or designer. This year, for the sake of appealing to the buyers touring your home, use your best decorations as holiday accents without drawing attention away from your home’s best selling features.
Your home may have large windows with a great view or an expansive kitchen fit for a chef. Whatever sold you on your home when you first bought it is most likely the same feature(s) will sell your home during the holidays/winter. You want to give your home a touch with holiday décor, not bury it. And yes, promptly remove Christmas decorations after the holidays.
Use candles and essential oil diffusers with iconic scents of the season, such as pumpkin spice or balsam and cedar. You want to keep your home clutter-free and need to clean it regularly. Belongings can easily begin to pile up during the holidays, so make sure you stay on top of it. Create an environment that makes prospective homebuyers feel comfortable and warm the moment they walk through your front door. You want them to feel at home.
To complement the coziness of your home, you’ll also want to make it bright. Turn on all the lights in your house during open houses and virtual home tours. It may be the darkest time of year outside but you can make sure it doesn’t feel that way inside your home.
Consider working with a professional home stager to create the perfect holiday look to help your home stand out from the competition.
Price your home to sell.
You and your listing agent will most likely come up with a pricing strategy together based on comparable homes in the area, what the current housing market is doing, and what the demand for housing looks like or is projected to do. Ultimately, several variables go into pricing your home to sell, however, there are a couple of easy tricks that can help attract homebuyers.
Price your home competitively
If your home looks like all the other homes on the block with similar features, then a lower price point will definitely draw in more traffic than your rivals. However, if your home is the largest one on the block, has more acreage, or a double car garage and pool, you can price your home based on the increased value it provides.
Use strategic price points when listing your home
Have you ever noticed while you’re grocery shopping that almost all prices end in .99, such as $1.99 or $4.99? This simple manipulation of pricing is called setting strategic price points and actually makes the price of something appear smaller (or cheaper) than it really is. The same exact concept works when pricing your house to sell. For example, if you decide your home could sell for $500,000, pricing it at $499,000 can (theoretically) draw in more traffic and possibly more offers.
Make your curb appeal stand out.
Your neighborhood may actually look more appealing to homebuyers during the holiday season. During these winter days, your lawn may not be that lush green it usually is during the summertime and your trees may currently be barren. That’s why making your curb appeal a top priority is necessary when selling your home in winter. Make sure to pick up all the sticks, dead leaves, and any other debris and that your lawn is neatly trimmed. Even during the colder months, a few weeds that poke up from the ground can make your lawn seem neglected. If you have pictures of your home at alternative times of the year when your curb appeal is burgeoning with flora, these may also be a good idea to have available for homebuyers during home tours. This way, instead of homebuyers trying to picture your house in other seasons, they can just see it for themselves.
Keeping your property safe for homebuyers.
Outside temperatures can be well below freezing during the winter in most of the United States. Driveways and walking paths are blanketed in snow and ice, and icicles hang from gutters like glass curtains. A legitimate concern for home sellers in one of these colder climates is how to keep your property safe for homebuyers. The only thing you can really do is be proactive and break out that snow shovel and start clearing a path.
If you’re expecting snow on an almost weekly basis, then it might be best to hire out professionals to come by once a day and make sure your driveway, front steps, and any walking paths are cleared for people touring your home.
Also, repairs of some minor things like burnt out bulbs or fixing switches will represent your home better.
Take professional photography with aerial view.
The best thing you can do for your house in terms of marketing it to potential homebuyers is getting professional real estate photos taken. In fact, research shows that professional photos can help sell your house faster and for more money.
Getting your professional photos taken of your house before you decorate for a holidays is
a must, because holiday decorations essentially create a time-stamp of your home. You don't want your home to appear decorated for Christmas and still be on the market in January, February or March.
If your home has acreage, a view, or any other amenity that cannot be fully captured unless it’s done by air, then aerial photography may be just what you need. Drone photography offers buyers a unique perspective of your home and can help make your listing stand out among the other homes for sale online. It also gives potential buyers an overview of your neighborhood along with other amenities that may be within walking distance of your home.
And again, do not be afraid of winter's slow market. Use it for your own advantage.