Selling a home in the winter can be challenging. Inclement weather, from colder temperatures to snow and ice, can reduce showings down to a trickle. Plus, many people do not want to move during the last few months of the year. Children are often in the middle of their school year and everyone is busier than usual with end-of-year work, holiday, and family obligations. In fact, many home buyers decide to avoid the headache and postpone their search until January.
This often leads to home sellers pulling their homes from the market. Stop. Do not make this mistake. Let all your competitors wait to sell their homes until Spring. You will be the only decent house left for sale in your market. There are ways to sell your home in the winter -- quickly and painlessly.
Step 1: Hire an Experienced Real Estate Agent.
If you want to sell your home in the winter months, your first step is always to hire a qualified real estate agent. This is not the time to mess around with trying to sell by owner. You need to hire the big guns to get the job done right. When interviewing agents, ask the following questions:
- How long have you been licensed?
- How many listings do you have right now?
- How many listings have you sold this year?
- What is your average DOM -- days on market?
- Where do you have an active social media presence?
- What is your pricing strategy?
Do not hire the real estate agent that tells you your home is worth the most money. Hire the one with the most experience and the best pricing and marketing strategy.
Step 2: Do Not Price Your Home Too High.
While it may be tempting to throw a "pie-in-the-sky" price on your home to see what happens, don't. Winter is not a time to screw around with "what ifs." You need to stay focused on the goal of selling your home. The chance of squeaking out an extra five thousand is not worth the added stress of lingering too long on the market. If you do not sell by the end of the year, you will have to compete with all the other sellers that list their homes come January.
Plus, once you reduce that high price, savvy buyers will notice the change. They might assume that your price reduction is due to something being wrong with your house.
Step 3: Bite the Bullet and Declutter.
Decluttering is the hardest step for most homeowners. Buyers want to see clean, organized homes without any personalization. Take down that family portrait over the fireplace. Remove all but one or two knick-knacks from each room, even if you think it is perfectly lovely. You need to present a fairly blank canvas to allow potential buyers to visualize their own family and their own belongings in the space.
If you have particularly vibrant paint, like a red accent wall, take the time to re-paint. A quick Saturday afternoon of work on your part can remove an objection before it even arises. Likewise, wallpaper can be an immediate turn off for many buyers. They have heard horror stories on how difficult it can be to remove. Take it down before you even list your home.
Step 4: Show Like a Pro.
When showing your home in the winter, there are a few tricks that will help your home look and feel its best. If you live in a colder climate, make sure the leaves are raked, the snow is shoveled, and the walk is salted. Winter may be dreary, but you can still put your best foot forward.
Indoors, there are also several tips to make buyers feel welcome. Keep the heat at a comfortable setting. This is not the time to save money by turning the heat down when you are gone for the day. Keep the blinds open. Winter tends to be dark so you want to let in as much light as possible. If you have a dark, north-facing room, leave the lights on.
Selling your home in the winter does not have to be a struggle.
For more information, contact a resource like Keller Williams Realty Intown Atlanta.