Many people think the holiday season is the worst time to sell your home, but home sellers have several advantages to selling in the winter. If you live in an area where the market is hot, the time of the year may matter less than you think. Check with your real estate agent to see how long for-sale homes near you are sitting on the market. Because many homeowners do not want to list their home in the winter, you’ll have less competition. In addition, buyers who are looking tend to be more serious and motivated. And actually, some studies have shown that homes can sell more quickly in winter.
Here are a few tips for selling in the winter:
- Decorate, but don’t overdo it. Avoid decorations tied to a specific religion or belief. Don’t crowd your home with distracting decorations. Opt instead for more general fall and winter decorations such as garlands and lights.
- Price your home to sell. This is a good idea no matter what time of year, but price is especially important if you are a motivated winter seller.
- Take good photos. In the winter buyers are much more likely to start their search by browsing listings on the Internet. Try and get some pictures of your home before the trees go bare and the grass is dormant, or find some flattering summer or spring pictures of your home and yard.
- Keep up with the yard maintenance. Remember, your yard is a crucial part of your home’s first impression.
- Add light. Buyers love light bright rooms, which can be a challenge with short winter days. Turn on all of the lights for showings, and consider adding floor lamps or table lamps, or using brighter bulbs to show your home at its best.
- Make it cozy. A warm house is a cozy house, so make sure you keep your thermostat set appropriately for daytime showings. If you have a gas fireplace, turning it on can also be a nice touch.
- Get your home in tip-top shape. Consider having your furnace/HVAC system and roof inspected. Clean gutters, change filters, and perform other winter maintenance.
- Be flexible. Winter is a busy time for everyone, and everything from personal commitments to unexpected storms can interfere with showings and open houses.
Remember, someone will always be looking to buy a home!