Selling In Colder Months
While the warmer months are generally regarded as the time for home sellers to get their property ready for sale, marketing the home in winter and early spring is just as important. Homebuyers are out looking for homes 12 months a year and there’s no reason to drop the ball on sprucing up a home November through February.
Here are some tips for selling a home in the fall and winter months.
Heat it up: If you are planning an open house or have showings scheduled, turn up the thermostat and make the home warm and inviting. A cold home shopper will race through a house and start questioning the windows and insulation.
Light it up: For homes with fireplaces, this is the perfect opportunity to show the potential buyer how cozy a fireplace can be. Leave out some hot chocolate, cider, or coffee nearby and invite those seeing the home to relax and try it out.
Take care of snow and ice: For those selling once the snow hits, make sure that the walk is clear, the driveway is shoveled and put down salt to control any icy surfaces. If a buyer pulls up to the house and has to slush through inches of snow, they may not even bother to enter. For those who aren’t currently living in the home that is for sale, make sure to hire someone to clear it for you.
Use photographs: If you have a beautiful lawn, stellar landscaping or an outdoor pool or deck, many times these are quickly overlooked or passed by because of snow. Take some eye-catching photos of these amenities during the warm months and display them during a winter showing so buyers can get a better understanding of what the outside truly offers.
Schedule Open Houses: There are still many who don’t believe that selling in the winter is a good idea, so it’s a great time to take advantage of less competition. Many serious buyers often come out during the winter months, including corporate clients who usually need to relocate within the first quarter of the year.
Emphasize the Positives: Does your street get plowed quickly? Is it near public transportation to make it easier to get to work in the snow? Is it within walking distance of stores? Does it have a great hill for the kids to sled down in a safe environment? If so, accentuate these features.
Since a lot of people are waiting until spring to put their home on the market, having a home ready in winter is a great way to beat the rush, allowing you to move on with your future plans sooner than later! We are beginning to hear reports of shrinking inventory nationally, and Lakewood is no different. Currently there are less than 140 single family homes for sale. That is down from over 300 just a few years ago! You can check out the local inventory, and even get an idea of your home value, at www.HomeValuesInLakewood.Info.
Chris Bergin is a licensed real estate agent with Prudential Lucine Realty in Lakewood.