How to Sell Your Home During the Winter Season
It’s the most wonderful time of the year... to sell?
Winter can be a great time to sell your home. Especially since “winter” doesn’t dip too far below -10 degrees celsius here. Just like with any season, there are pros and cons to selling your home in the winter and tips that may be able to help with a successful sale.
If you’ve been contemplating whether you should sell your home now or wait until the holidays wind down and Spring starts, I've made a list of 5 things that will help you sell your home before the first April showers!
Take Advantage of the Season
Even though this past year is been a bit different, living in a warm climate during the winter has its perks. There tend to be more people here this Winter as the "snowbirds" who traditionally flee from the snow, which means that there are more people available who might want to make their winter searching plans for a new residence happening before April 2021.
Additionally, this type of weather we wait for all summer long make sure to leverage the outside space at your home to show how the summer months will look for the buyer. I'll make sure to highlight this in the descriptions, photos, and showings (virtual or otherwise). If the weather is particularly beautiful on the day of an in-person showing go ahead and open the windows to let some fresh air in. Seriously, fresh air in winter takes the stale air out of the home and makes it smell better!
Put Your Best Foot Forward Online
As Dave Ramsey says, “the internet has no seasons.” Since most people would rather be enjoying the beautiful snow-free winter weather and virtual showings are the first step for most buyers right now, making sure your home has a good online presence is very important. Most buyers will start their search online before in person. In fact, according to NAR the share of home buyers who used the internet to search for a home increased to an all-time high of 97% this past year.
Leveraging the power of high definition-quality photography, 3D virtual walk-through tours, and videos has never been so important but when you pair it with competing against outdoor activities it becomes vital.
Be Flexible in Showing Times and Methods
This is one of the busiest times of the year and with extra hurdles to jump this new year like planning around post-holiday celebrations online and, free time might be hard to come by. The good news here is that most folks do tend to take more time off work, especially now during Covid-19 lockdowns, and around the post-holidays leaving more time to search for their new home. Once the holidays are over, there are a few 3-day weekends in January which are perfect to host virtual open houses and schedule showings.
Offering a virtual tour option for your home is vital in today's world so don't be surprised if you're getting a lot of showing over FaceTime or Zoom - that doesn't mean a buyer is any less serious.
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Work With What You Have
When the sun sets at 5:00 p.m., it’s a lot harder to show off your home’s exterior. Make sure that your lights around the house - holiday and decor lights, as well as year-round outdoor lighting, are all set up and turned on when the sun goes down. If you took advantage of the summer by making some improvements to your curb appeal make sure to disclose those upgrades to me as I'll make sure that any potential buyers are aware of upgrades being made around the house even if viewing homes in the dark doesn't always let them shine.
Custom feature sheets are created specifically for online to make sure your home and home improvements are known to all potential buyers.
Keep Budgets and Timelines in Mind
As we wrap up the end of the year and begin a new one, a lot of people are tied up with other financial obligations such as holiday gifts, paying taxes, and making sure their own houses are ready for the post-holidays. While typically this may cause a lot of buyers do not want to invest in a home at this time of year this year is anything but normal. Buyers are still competing by offering over-asking and homes are selling quickly - the holidays may have slowed that down a bit but I expect things to heat up again by the time the trees have all been taken down.
Staying "Show Ready" Makes a Difference
While keeping your home show-ready during the winter may be more difficult it's not impossible. You’ll need to minimize the amount of decor and clutter around the house, remove packages arriving on the front steps, and keep up with putting away the post-holiday festive decor. This is also a great opportunity and time to declutter your home, discard or donate used clothing or other items no longer used will increase the interior space of your home and provide a potential buyer to vision seeing their personal possessions in the home.
Pro Tip: It may be dark outside, but be sure to keep things cozy and warm inside by turning as many lights on as you can for any in-person showings.