If you’re thinking of listing your home this winter the following information may help you decide if its something you want to look further into.
The peak home buying season is still in the spring , since most families want to move when the kids are out of school. However, it actually pays to list in the winter, because buyers are more serious and tend to have more urgency: A study by Redfin.com found that sellers will net more above their asking price during the months of December, January, February, and March than they do from June through November, even in cold-weather cities like Chicago. Homes listed in winter also sold faster than those listed in the spring.
Should YOU put your Home on the Market this Winter?
Well, if you need to do it because of circumstances (such as the completed purchase of your your next home or you have already accepted a job out of town or have had a job transfer), Then it may be absolutely necessary in order to avoid paying 2 mortgages. But if this is not the case. You have time to consult with a realtor and make an educated decision. Obviously, selling a home for top dollar still depends greatly on the law of supply and demand, this is one of the reasons that most home sellers who list in the winter will net more during the winter months.
As a realtor I can help you to understand your local market, I’ll check the number of days on the market for current and recently sold listings. Then assess how many of these have been sitting for more than 60 days, If it’s a majority of the homes then, it may be safer to wait until spring, when more buyers will emerge. But if houses are selling before the 60 day mark most agents will agree that its a good time to list your home now.
If you do decide to move forward, these strategies will help make your home one that will be desired and will stand out from the rest.
Set the Price Right the 1st Time
The slower winter market requires special price planning. In spring, when there are more shoppers,it makes sense to price your home low to try to generate a bidding war. I’ve used that strategy several times and ended up netting my clients more than they initially asked for. But in the winter you’re less likely to see this type of buying activity.
Conversely, setting the price too high in the winter is also a bad idea. The rule that nobody wants to overpay for anything still applies here, so if the house doesn’t sell because you scared buyers with the high priced list price. You will need to implement a price drop most likely below market value in order to catch a buyer before new listings begin to appear in the spring making yours unattractive due to the excessive time its been on the market.
Pricing it right by the 1st time by following the advice of your realtor is the best bet in the winter selling season. I’ll make sure its priced at market value by checking closing prices of other comparable properties and comparing the new listing prices as well so that we are sure to be in the sweet spot.
Winter Selling calls for an HVAC Tune-Up
The cold winter weather will bring up issues related to heating and bring to remembrance the fact that these devices require maintenance. By getting your furnace, and HVAC inspected preemptively and making any necessary repairs. You’ll avoid this issue altogether and give all the potential buyers that ask about the HVAC system some peace of mind knowing that the home has been well maintained. It may set you back a $100-$200 dollars but the confidence that can be instilled to a buyer is well worth the money spent.
Another thing that cold weather house hunters will be thinking about is heating costs. You should look at low-cost upgrades like insulating the attic or installing energy-efficient windows if the budget allows. Energy efficiency is a something that we see buyers very interested in, so making these type of improvements when possible will add value to your home and will help to get your home sold. The downside is the cost.
Brighten Your Home
We don’t see much snow here in Murrieta except for one day every few years I suppose. But the gloomy gray skies make for a dreary first impression. So the landscape can be warmed up by improving the curb appeal. You can add cool-weather plants to revitalize the outdoor space. Add a fresh coat of paint, caulk windows, and be sure to repair any cracked window seals, which can cause condensation that causes a distorted view and a real problem in the minds of any buyer that sees it.
More fixes for Optimum Acceptance of Winter Buyers
By simply painting your house off-white it should make the rooms appear larger. Also be sure to create a sense of warmth throughout the home,using the services of a home stager. The living room, is where we see that staging has the greatest impact, according to a National Association of Realtors report. I personally like Christmas Decor for the month of December but items like a throw blanket or poinsettia plants can set a very nice tone that buyers will enjoy. Staying a way from certain religious beliefs is what the industry suggests in order to not offend any prospective buyers. So stay neutral, and use such seasonal touches as stacked wood by the fireplace rather than holiday decorations. Now if you list your home with me these details will be handled by my home staging team which is included FREE of charge so this is one area you will not need to worry about.
As always, De-clutter and Depersonalize
Put away family photographs so that buyers can see themselves living in the home. Instead of having a bunch of family pictures, you can replace them with pictures of generic photos of landscapes or take pictures of your garden during the summer and use those pictures here in the winter. It will be a surefire way to get your home feeling warmer and it will be sure to be non personal. This point can not be stressed enough, be sure that the prospective buyers can feel at home in the newly created non personal environment. Do this and make your home one of the most wanted
The quantity of Home Buyers dwindle, but only Serious Shoppers Stick around
As previously stated, lots of home shoppers stop looking during the winter, and there are several reasons why. Some want to wait until more homes come on the market in spring, and some don’t want to change their children’s school mid-year. However, those who do need a home during the winter season are the most serious, often looking to move because they need to, not because they want to. This can put you the seller in an advantageous position to get your house sold for top dollar.