How to Sell Your Home During the Winter Season
It’s the most wonderful time of the year... to sell?
Winter can be a great time to sell your home. Especially since we've been having mild winters lately. Just like with any season, there are pros and cons to selling your home in the winter and tips that may be able to help with a successful sale.
If you’ve been contemplating whether you should sell your home now or wait until the holidays wind down, we've made a list of 5 things that will help you sell your home before the first April showers!
Take Advantage of the Season
Even though this year is a bit different, we've been experiencing a very active market. Though we are in the holiday season, buyers are thinking about how and where to spend next summer, or where they want to be all year long (including thoughts of working from home, spending even more time at home, and more).
Because most people decorate for the holidays, homes can look especially warm and inviting this time of year. We'll make sure to highlight this in our descriptions, photos, and showings (virtual or otherwise). If the weather is particularly beautiful on the day of an in-person showing go ahead and open the windows to let some fresh air in.
Put Your Best Foot Forward Online
As Dave Ramsey says, “the internet has no seasons.” Since most people are busy with the holidays right now, and also staying in, virtual showings are the first step for most buyers right now, making sure your home has a good online presence is very important. Most buyers will start their search online before in person. In fact, according to NAR the share of home buyers who used the internet to search for a home increased to an all-time high of 97% this year.
Leveraging the power of high-quality photography, virtual walk-through tours, and videos has never been so important but now it is even more vital!
Be Flexible in Showing Times and Methods
This is one of the busiest times of the year and with extra hurdles to jump this year like planning holiday celebrations online and shipping holiday gifts to family in time, free time might be hard to come by. The good news here is that most folks do tend to take more time off work around the holidays leaving more time to search for their new home. Once the holidays are over, there are a few 3-day weekends in January which are perfect to host virtual open houses and schedule showings.
Offering a virtual tour option for your home is vital in today's world so don't be surprised if you're getting a lot of showing over FaceTime or Zoom - that doesn't mean a buyer is any less serious.
Work With What You Have
When the sun sets at 4:30 PM, it’s a lot harder to show off your home’s exterior. Make sure that your lights around the house - holiday and decor lights, as well as year-round outdoor lighting, are all set up and turned on when the sun goes down. If you took advantage of the summer by making some improvements to your curb appeal make sure to disclose those upgrades to us as we'll make sure that any potential buyers are aware of upgrades being made around the house even if viewing homes in the dark doesn't always let them shine.
Keep Budgets and Timelines in Mind
As we wrap up the end of the year, a lot of people are tied up with other financial obligations such as holiday gifts, paying taxes, and making sure their own houses are ready for the holidays. While typically this may cause a lot of buyers to not want to invest in a home at this time of year, this year is anything but normal. Buyers are competing by offering over asking and homes are selling quickly - the holidays may slow that down a bit but we expect things to heat up again by the time the trees have all been taken down.
Staying "Show Ready" Makes a Difference
While keeping your home show-ready during the winter may be more difficult it's not impossible. You’ll need to minimize the amount of decor (but don't make it uninviting) and clutter around the house, remove packages arriving on the front steps, and keep up with putting away the wrapping paper and holiday prepping that you’re doing yourself.
Pro Tip: If may be dark outside, but be sure to keep things cozy and warm inside by turning as many lights on as you can.