“So you’ve decided to list your home this winter…no matter what is driving the move, you may be concerned about selling at this time of year. But just because you missed the spring/summer selling season doesn’t mean you can’t get your home sold quickly and for a profit. Here are a few tips…
- Take photos early or late. Take photos before the trees become barren and the grass goes dormant, if you can….except if you want to portray your home as a winter wonderland on a snowy day (with perfectly scraped walkways, of course).
- Go easy on the holiday decor. Sellers should be careful not to overdo it…adornments that are too large or too many can crowd your home and distract buyers. Also avoid offending buyers by opting for generic fall and winter holiday decorations rather than items with religious themes.
- Always mind the curb appeal. Potential buyers won’t give you a pass on exterior upkeep just because it’s wintertime.
- Safety matters. Shoveling walks from the street to your home is necessary to make it reachable, inviting, and safe….so continually shovel to keep paths to your home clear. Also footprints in freshly fallen snow will turn to ice if the temperature is low enough, so scrape the walk & sprinkle a layer of sand to assure stable footing.
- Get an indoor mat. This one super-easy move may not be noticed by visitors, but it sure will if it’s missing or not in good shape. Little things like a $10 mat can give buyers the impression that your whole house is well cared for (or just the opposite).
- Clear the front door clutter. How does the coat closet look? Make room for potential buyers to hang their winter coats while touring your home…plus, a tidy closet gives the impression that there is plenty of storage space in the home. Winter wear and shoes that tend to stack up in the entry should be banished while your house is on the market.
- Make sure everything functions. Imagine you turn on the heater for the first time the night before your first showing and it doesn’t work. Same for the fireplace in the living room. As soon as you decide to sell your home, go through it room by room, checking all major appliances and home functions and looking for things that may escape notice on an everyday basis – cracked light switches, chipped baseboards, light bulbs that need to be replaced – so that your home is perfect for showings.
- Light it up. Shorter days with earlier sunsets limit the hours of natural light in your home. Turning on all the lights before showings is more important in winter than in any other season. Think about the exterior when it comes to lights…if you only have a porch light, you might want to consider adding some landscaping lighting which will help accentuate your outdoor space.
- Listen to your real estate agent when it comes to price. Will you be able to command top dollar for your home and get the same price you would have if you had listed in spring or summer? That depends on many things, including your neighborhood, the available inventory, the condition of the home, and your listing price. A trusted real estate agent will take all mitigating factors into consideration and use comparables in your area to develop a pricing strategy.
When it comes to offers, remember this tidbit from Realtor.com…”Just because your home’s on the market during the slow, chilly months doesn’t mean you have to accept a lowball offer. If you make your home attractive in all the right ways, qualified buyers will come.””
SOURCE: Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.com IMAGE: linkedin.com