Is November thru January the worst time to sell your home? With the holidays and the cold winter weather, many say yes. But the answer is NO! There are buyers looking for homes every season, and while traffic may slow down a bit, chances are, those who are out looking at properties today are serious buyers. Either they have had a job transfer, their own home has sold, or they want to beat the spring rush is why real estate agents are still making appointments through these next several months.
If you are selling your home right now, know that you are at an advantage. With fewer homes on the market, but more committed buyers looking, make sure your house stands out from the rest.
1. Don’t overdo it.
Several home sellers ask if they should decorate for the holidays. Our answer, ABSOLUTELY! Homes often look their best during the holidays but be careful not to go overboard. Too many adornments that are oversized can crowd your home and distract buyers.
2. Hire a top real estate agent
This means someone who is going to not only work hard for you, but won’t be gone during the holidays when you need them the most. Talk to family and friends for their recommendations. Look around your neighbourhood and see who is selling the most houses. Finding an agent who is committed to selling your home takes away your stress and gives you time to enjoy the holidays.
3. Find motivated buyers:
Rarely do people house hunt during the holidays unless they are serious. Work with your agents to target the right buyer for your home. Don’t waste time promoting your home to an audience that won’t be interested. For example, if you are selling a starter home near a college, then target professors and university staff. Be creative.
4. Price to sell:
Nothing appeals to a buyer more than a home that is priced to sell. Rather than making gradual price reductions, give your home its best price before you put it on the market. You will find that the serious buyers who tour your home will be even more serious when they see an attractive price.
5. Curb appeal:
Once again, we cannot ignore the importance of curb appeal, especially with the dreary winter months it is more critical than ever to maintain the exterior of your home. With bare trees exposing more of the home, buyers should touch up paint where needed, clean gutters and spruce up the yard. Make sure snow is away from the walkways and driveways so buyers have easy access to your home. Keep their safety in mind and make sure all stairs are free of ice.
6. Take great photos:
Ninety percent of homebuyers are now searching for their homes online, especially when the weather is dismal. Make a good first impression by posting flattering, high quality photos of your home. Make sure the pictures don’t show clutter, animals on the furniture or a room less than spotless and clean.
7. Video tour:
As long as you have top photos of your home, sometimes a video tour may not be necessary, however, shooting a video tour and posting it on Youtube may create buyers who don’t have time to physically see your house or may be viewing from another city. However, make the video simple. There is no need to go over the top, use extreme graphics, loud music or anything other than what it needs to be: a tour of your home while showcasing its best features.
8. Make your home a retreat:
If it’s cold outside, make your home feel cozy, warm and inviting during showings by turning up the heat, maybe having a fire in the fireplace (don’t leave any fire unattended), and offering homemade holiday treats. When buyers want to stay in your home, you give them more time to admire its best features.
9. Offer incentives:
If able, offer incentives to buyers that will make your home even more attractive to buyers. Consider gifting a home warranty or offer to assist with closing costs. For buyers who are on a strict budget, this may be all they need to hear to clinch the deal.
Finally, take a few deep breaths. The holidays can be a stressful time and selling a Windsor property on top of it can be overwhelming. Remember, if your home doesn’t sell now, then the first of the year will be here soon and new buyers are looking for homes every day. The housing market is improving slowly so it is only a matter of time before the right buyer finds your home.