Winter is a very fickle time of year when it comes to real estate markets. The average time to sell a property in many markets right now is six to 12 months. And while it’s true that winter months are generally considered to be the off-season of real estate deals, with proper strategizing, you can reap the advantages that do come with buying or selling a home during winter — because believe it or not, there are quite a few benefits. Here are just a few top tips to help sell your home during the winter.
Showcase Your Home’s Best Features
First, make sure to work with your realtor to show off your home’s best qualities and selling points. For example, an estimated 20% of the U.S. population will be over 65 by 2030, and any features that help make the home more accessible are highly sought after, especially ranch style homes. On average, consumers are exposed to 3,000 ads and promotional messages every day, and even though buyers typically have fewer options to choose from when browsing during the winter, it’s still vital to do all you can to make your home stand out above others.
Stage Your Home Professionally
When potential buyers come over to take a tour of your home, make sure the real thing lives up to the images shown on the listing. This means you’ll have to make an added effort to keep the inside of your home meticulously clean for showings, which can prove to be challenging if you’re still living there. On average, people will shed 50 to 100 hairs a day, so in addition to vacuuming daily, it’s also a good idea to get the carpets professionally deep-cleaned. You won’t be able to use curb appeal for as much of a selling points as you would when selling during other times of year, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take time to make sure the outside of your home is well-kept as well. Keep any walkways shoveled and clear of snow and ice and make sure your home’s gutters and siding are in good shape. Buyers will likely be more attentive to maintenance issues during the winter because they want to make sure the home they’re considering will keep them cozy and warm. Do as much as you can to give them peace of mind.
Keep the Heat On
This piece of advice is for homeowners who won’t be occupying the home they’re selling: whenever possible, keep the heat on. This also helps to create a sense of warmth and comfort among potential buyers. Walking into a frigid home is a definite turn-off and can lead to an overall negative perception.
It may seem like selling your home during the winter is more of a challenge, but with proper timing and execution, it could be the perfect decision for you:
“The most obvious plus of buying and moving in winter is exactly because real estate wisdom says to shop spring and summer. As a result of this popular piece of real estate advice, there will be fewer buyers in competition during the winter months,” writes Diane Schmidt on The Spruce. “It’s simple economics — the low demand will work in your favor. So for the investor looking to find a good deal in the housing market, the winter can be prime time.”