While many people understand that spring and summer are the traditional times for buying and selling homes, sometimes you are left with no choice but to try to sell your home during the winter months. If you’re getting ready to go on the market during winter, make sure that you’re using these tips to get your home sold.
Most real estate transactions take place during the spring and summer months. However, there are times where you have no choice but to list your home during the winter. Obviously, the market is a bit slower during this period, but that doesn’t mean that you’re going to be stuck with your home on the market. It does mean that you may have to do things a bit differently than you had planned on. If you’re about to list your home, make sure that you’re using these tips to increase your chance of selling the property.
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First of all, the real estate agent you choose probably has a list of buyers that he or she is working with. The realtor is motivated to help their clients as quickly as possible, so they can begin working to sell your home immediately. Secondly, since winter is a slow time for listing agents, a real estate agent probably doesn’t have as many other properties in his or her inventory at the time. This helps ensure that your real estate agent will be even more motivated to sell your property, and that there aren’t as many other homes that you’re competing with.
Improve Your Outdoor Lighting
There are some foundational truths about real estate. For instance, most of the people who are in the market for a new home have jobs, which means they are often limited to when they can view potential properties. Obviously, the majority of employed people will need to look at your home either in the evenings or on weekends. Since a large majority of the US sees the sunset earlier in the winter than in the summer, there’s a good possibility that they will be viewing your home (at least for the first time) without the benefit of sunlight.
First impressions are powerful, so you will need to make sure that your potential buyers can get a clear, positive view of your home as soon as they pull into the driveway. It’s also not uncommon for buyers and their agent to stand outside and talk about the home after they’ve viewed the inside. This means that having quality outdoor lighting can create a good first impression while also leaving a lasting positive impression at the end. Consider bringing in a professional landscaper to help you choose the right kind of outdoor lighting and have them install it.
Investing in Professional Photography
If you work with a real estate agent, it’s a good idea to find out if professional photography is part of their listing package. If not, you can either move onto another real estate agent, or invest in professional photography yourself. Obviously, paying for professional photography yourself should only be a part of your plan if you’re going to try to sell your home on your own. If you’re working with a licensed real estate agent, the cost of professional photography is covered by the commission that they receive.
Ultimately, you can’t capture the true quality of your home by taking pictures on your cellphone. Unfortunately, there are real estate agents out there who try to capture their own listing photos on their phones. When you’re already facing the disadvantage of selling your home during winter, make sure that you’re putting the best image out there as possible. Roughly 75% of real estate transactions begin with an online search, which means potential buyers see your home in photos long before they see it in person. Ensuring that you have professional-grade photos of your home’s interior and exterior online is crucial.
Be Mindful of Your Decorations
For millions of people, wintertime is an opportunity to put up lots of lights and other decorations to celebrate the holidays. However, if you’re putting your home on the market in November or December, resist the urge to light up your home like Clark Griswald, and take a much more minimalistic approach. Ultimately, the reasoning behind limiting the way that you decorate your home is twofold.
First of all, it’s important to note that not everyone celebrates the holidays, and that even if they do, they may not be attracted to over-the-top decorations. Remember, people who celebrate the holidays won’t be offended or offput by the lack of decorations, but people who don’t celebrate them may lose interest in your home immediately. The other reason for cutting down on the decor levels is that having too much can distract from the beauty of your home. Consider keeping things minimal and classy this winter if you’re going to try to sell your home.
Don’t Neglect Your Landscaping
You may think that this should’ve been discussed under outdoor lighting, but landscaping goes far beyond that. Taking the time to properly care for your landscaping is a multilayered concept. First of all, it’s easy during winter months to let things outside go and make plans to fix them in the spring of the following year. Remember, you’re selling your home, so you ideally won’t be there in the spring. Don’t put off repairing even the smallest of things that have become damaged in the wind, snow, and ice. Additionally, part of your landscaping commitment includes making sure that all of your walkways and steps are shoveled.
While a nice coat of snow on the yard may look nice, nobody wants to view a home that they have to walk through snow and ice to get to. Finally, consider investing in some outdoor plants and other landscaping products that are conducive to the low temperatures of winter. You may not be able to plant a bright colorful flower garden, but you can improve your curb appeal.
Selling your home during winter won’t be easy, but it’s certainly possible. It’s important that you set realistic expectations. If homes in your area sell in a few days during spring and summer, it may take a bit longer during winter. However, you can put yourself in a better position to succeed by applying these tips.
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