A lot of people think that selling homes in the winter is impossible. What with how busy the holiday season can be and how cold and dreary weather can keep people inside rather than touring properties, the theory seems like it holds water. However, selling your home during the supposed “off-season” isn’t quite the impossible feat many people envision. In fact, there are several reasons a homeowner may benefit from selling their house in the winter.
People who are looking at houses during the fall/winter months are serious about finding their next home. There are fewer people who are out and about “just browsing” homes for fun when the weather is cold.
Because people assume selling a house in the winter is more difficult, more homeowners wait until the ice thaws before listing their property. This means less competition for homeowners trying to sell in the so-called off-season.
With fewer homes on the market and less competition, the entire buying/selling process happens at a faster rate. Real estate agents and home inspectors are less inundated with other projects, so they can better focus on your property.
Less market activity also means that lenders have the time to work with buyers to get their ideal mortgage rate, making it easier for buyers to go through with the process.
Wintertime means the New Year, and what better time is there for a fresh start?
Pricing a Home in the Winter
Just because it’s the off-season doesn’t mean you have to price your property down in the dirt. Rather than underpricing to try to stir up interest, price your home at its best value so you can cut down on the haggling and close your final sale at breakneck speed. To get the best idea on your home’s ideal asking value, check out what other properties in your area are going for price-wise. For instance, in the last month, homes in Las Vegas have been selling on average for $270k.
Staging a Home in Winter
If you look at advice on how to stage a home in winter, you’re going to see a lot of the same tips you’d see if you were selling in the summer. At its most basic level, staging a home is about depersonalizing and decluttering the home so it’s a blank canvas on which potential buyers can draft their future lives. However, it also helps to make sure your home is as cozy as possible when showing the property. Drafty hallways and cold spots are going to leave a negative impression and hurt your chances to sell.
Improving Curb Appeal in Winter
Just like with staging, working on your home’s curb appeal in winter isn’t too different from how you would do it in the summer. Your yard needs to be clean, with trimmed grass, trees, and shrubbery. Go ahead and box up any lawn ornaments or decoration as well. This is not the year to break out intricate holiday decorations and lights, either. If you’re going to add lights at all, look into functional options, such as pathway lighting that adds illumination while helping potential buyers navigate their way onto the property.
Holding an Open House in Winter
Since people are less likely to be out and about trying to drop in on properties for sale, you definitely want to throw an open house if you’re listing your home in the winter. Garner interest in your home by having your real estate agent set up a thorough online listing onto which shoppers can stumble. The day of the open house, make sure the property is ready by letting in as much light as possible and shoveling any walkways that may be covered in snow or ice. Make sure the home is warm and cozy, and consider serving winter refreshments, such as hot cocoa or mulled apple cider. If the weather is bad the day of the open house, provide guests with plastic shoe covers that prevent muddy and salty soles from messing up your floors.
Selling a home in the winter can be advantageous, because there is less competition and buyers are more serious. Preparing your home to sell is the same in many ways in every season, but during the colder months, it’s important to create a warm and inviting environment that welcomes potential buyers. Avoid too many holiday decorations, and instead focus on highlighting the best your home has to offer even in the off-season.