Now that winter is here and 2013 will soon be upon us, many home sellers are thinking ahead to spring, which many consider the most popular time of the year to put their home on the market. But my advice? Why wait until spring to sell your Windsor property?
Believe it or not, winter is a very good time to sell your house. Why? People looking at homes at this time of the year are serious buyers. They have a need to find a home quickly or they wouldn’t be in the market at all. Chances are those “lookers,” who are merely viewing properties to see what is out there, will not inconvenience you and your family.
Other important reasons:
In the spring, housing supply goes up dramatically so buyers have a lot more from which to choose. This means that if you list your property this winter, you have less competition, which means more potential for selling your home and possibly, more money. Less demand can mean more money.
Houses Show Better During The Holidays:
Many sellers balk at showing their home during the holidays because they incorrectly assume that it’s not a good time to properly show their property. But as long as you don’t go overboard, your home can sell during December. Buyers are often nostalgic during this time and want to imagine living in their own house next Christmas. So make sure your house is tastefully decorated and accept appointments so others can see what a great house you have to celebrate the holidays!
Sell Now, Delay Closing:
You can always sell your house now and ask that closing be delayed until spring if necessary. Often times, people want to buy, but they are willing to wait a bit longer to move in if they need to relocate or make moving arrangements. Regardless, it never hurts to ask.
Selling Now Works Well With Non-Contingencies:
If you decide to sell now and buy later, you will be a non-contingent buyer, which means unlike other buyers, you won’t have to wait to sell your property in order to buy a new home. You will have one up on your competition and this always looks attractive to sellers.
Buyers Are Looking Online Now!
Over 90 percent of people looking at homes are finding them online. If you have someone come and look at your house, there is an excellent chance they have already seen it online therefore, they are very interested in your property. Don’t ignore uploading seasonal photos of your home. Write a colorful description such as, “Spend next Christmas here!” Buyers have the holidays on their mind, so lure them in.
So here are my rules for selling a home this winter:
1. Be realistic on your home price:
Set your best price at the beginning and buyers won’t feel the need to lowball.
2. Show pictures of your property without snow:
As I mentioned above, there is no issue with showing pictures of your home decorated for the holidays (as long as it’s not over the top), on your Facebook account with a caption that reads, “Spend the holidays here next year!” but make sure that your real estate agent includes pictures of your home without snow. Buyers want to see what your home looks like year-round.
3. Don’t forget curb appeal:
Keep your driveway and paths free of ice and snow. Make sure all autumn leaves are gone as well as any dead flowers.
4. Make your home warm and appealing:
Buyers come in from the cold and want to walk into an interior that is warm and home-like. As with any season, make sure your home is de-cluttered, de-personalized and clean. Make sure all holiday decorations are down by January 2nd. And yes, it’s true. Buyers like to walk into something that smells like home. So go ahead and bake those cookies or apple pie and let the inviting smell greet them when they walk in the door.
5. Don’t forget light!
While it may be cold and dreary outside, make sure your home looks bright and cheery on the inside. Maximize all lighting by opening blinds or drapes. If necessary, replace your 40-watt light bulbs with 75 or 100-watt versions. And don’t turn down the heat! Sellers will often turn everything off when they leave as not to run up their electric or heating bills, but this is exactly when you want to make sure everything is on and up and running. If a buyer finds a home cold and dark, they will also find the exit.
When it’s all said and done, there really is no perfect or best time to sell a home. When asked this question, I always say, “Right now is the best time to sell a home!” But buyers are more mobile these days and it doesn’t make sense to wait to sell a property in the spring because there are always buyers. Many today are facing job relocations, divorces or other critical situations that require an immediate move.
So if you have a home to sell, don’t wait with everyone else and list it in February and March. By then, your house can already be sold!