Sell in the Winter

We’ve all heard it—“sell in the spring”—right? The market is generally better for home buying and selling in the spring/summer months because, hey, who wants to move in the cold fall and winter?

Weather aside, selling in the fall and winter might not be the easiest feat to accomplish, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t doable. Think about it. Because the market slows down there are fewer homes to contend with and the buyers tend to be more earnest due to job changes and the like. Those who are looking to buy in these months are serious in their offers because they really need to move. So don’t let the coming snow get you down—follow some of these tips to get your house ready to sell during the holiday season.

1. Year Round Photos

When you list, make sure to include tidy photos of your home in the spring or summer. This showcases the year-around appeal of your home. The buyers will see the house themselves in the fall or winter, so you want to give a sense of what those backyard barbecues on a warm summer night could be like.

While professional photos are always best for a listing, even some of your own shots might work for this if you didn’t have time to take pictures before the leaves start to fall.

2. Decorations

Not really into decorating for the holidays? Maybe you should rethink that. Decorating will add to the charm of the home and will make visitors feel welcome in the house as they imagine how they would decorate if it were theirs. Put a few tasteful decorations on the outside—and make sure the outside is well-lit in case they visit in the waning hours (remember, the days are shorter!).

Don’t overwhelm the interior of the home with decorations, but do make sure to include some seasonal spirit. Open spaces are good to make buyers feel the breadth of the house, but decorations can really make a space feel homey. And if you’re doing a scheduled open house with refreshments, think warm soups, breads, or other winter-themed treats. Yum…I’m hungry already.

3. Winter Safety

Shovel like crazy. Your walkway should be immaculate every day the home is on the market so potential buyers aren’t thinking about possibly slipping and falling as they walk up the drive. Remove any clutter from the walkway and decks—like bikes or swings—and make sure any fallen twigs or low hanging branches have been taken care of to create a clean appearance, and to ensure the safety of your guests.

4. Keep Your Chin Up

If you price aggressively, know your local market, and act professionally you’ll have an advantage in the slowing market as well. Your REALTOR will have other wonderful suggestions as to spruce up your listing and make it as warm, cozy, and inviting as a log fire burning in the hearth.

Although it’s a bit harder to sell in the fall and winter, the slowing market doesn’t have to mean defeat for you. The above tips, as well as a great attitude, should help make your house stand out from the crowd.

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Nice newsletter. Good article. Good information. Thank you. Carol

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Thank you Mike for this information. As a residential realtor the information that you provide is crucial to a successful transaction for my clients. You are indeed a pleasure to recommend to all of my clients. You are so professional, thorough, conscientious and pleasant to work with. !!

Hi Dane! Wanted to make sure I'm clear on this. Am I right in saying that on whichever remodel is done you still take a loss rather than an increase in value - the ROI will never exceed 100% of cost?