If you’re waiting until spring to put your home on the market, you may want to reconsider. In general, lower housing inventory means less competition and prospective buyers who want to get into a home quickly are more anxious to purchase.
A study by online brokerage Redfin reports that on average, sellers net more above asking price during the months of December through March than they do from June through November. They also found that “those listed in winter have a 9 percentage point greater likelihood of selling, sell a week faster, and sell for 1.2 percentage points more relative to list price than homes listed in any other season.”
According to Sally Bowman, Broker/Owner of Sally Bowman Real Estate, Cheshire, CT, “The contracts that are written in the winter months are from serious buyers. They may be moving for a change in their job, family situation or retirement.” Bowman also believes, “Buyers that were on the fence during the summer will usually jump in the winter as they realize that mortgage rates will have to go up at some point.” Her best advice for winter sellers is to make your home as inviting as possible by cleaning up the yard, winterizing your lawn, applying a fresh coat of driveway sealer, replacing outdoor bulbs and always keeping the house bright and appealing.
The following is a list of basic tips that sellers should keep in mind to make their property more attractive when listing their home during the winter:
Constant Curb Appeal
Maintain a polished look by keeping gutters clean, garden tools put away and shrubs trimmed. Also be sure to remove any hazards by shoveling, sanding and removing any ice or snow from the driveway, walkways and sidewalks.
Let it Shine
With shorter days, let in as much natural light as possible by opening blinds and curtains. Make sure that all lights are working, light bulbs have been changed, and be sure that the property is well lit both inside and out for late afternoon showings.
Make it Warm and Inviting
Evergreens in pots on the front porch, a wreath on the door and other simple, tasteful holiday decor throughout are all welcoming touches that will go a long way to engage buyers on a gloomy day.
It’s hard to predict how long a home will take to sell especially with unpredicatable weather conditions. Therefore sellers need to be understanding of unforseen obstacles including rescheduling showings, inspections or closings.