Every fall and winter we are questioned whether or not a seller should wait until the spring to list their house. The answer is no. Real estate transactions occur every day, every month of the year. In a climate with season change the perception is that the cold wintry months are a deterrent for buyers. The real estate market is cyclical. But season is not the only factor in this trend. The economy and interest rates are other contributing factors as to why a market may be slow at times. We always emphasize that while December can have less action than most months due to the holidays, prolonging the sale of you property or taking it off the market may, in fact be detrimental to your ability to sell your home.
Many sellers choose to list in the spring or take their home “off the market” after Thanksgiving. This reduces the inventory greatly. Take advantage of less competition by choosing to keep your home multiple listed during the holiday season and winter months you are increasing your chances of exposure because the inventory has shrunk. We have sold houses in snow storms, days before and after Christmas because if the house is for sale, there is always a potential buyer out their waiting to find the right home that suits there needs and situation. During the holidays we see many out of towners visiting family and friend who are looking to move back to the area. They are ready to buy and your home may be what they are looking for.
The following are some tips for staging your home during the holiday season and winter months to help maximize its value and showing potential. All at little to no cost!
Because most buyers will be viewing a property after sunset it is important to showcase the inside and the outside with proper lighting. Consider using a flood light to show off the architectural features of the home and enhance curb appeal. Add lamps to rooms and use higher wattage bulbs when necessary to brighten up interior rooms.
When selling during the holidays it is important to consider leaving some of your decorations tucked away. Less is always more when staging a home. You want to give a warm seasonal feel without inundating the buyer so that they cannot focus on the architectural features of the home. It is also important to have clear traffic patterns in the rooms and show off the space in the best possible way. Be choosey with your holiday decorations. You may have to stow away some of your bigger decorations while your house is on the market.
Show off exterior selling points-
Despite snow fall and cold temperatures highlight your deck, patio or outdoor sitting area. Remove the snow, set up outdoor tables and chairs, keep the grill out just like you would in warmer months. Help buyers envision themselves making your backyard part of their lifestyle. If you have a deck, make it an extension of your home. Staging the space with a table, chairs, and outdoor pillows that play off interior accents make the indoor space seem larger and more inviting.
Show off your spring and summer landscaping-
Display photos of your gardens and landscaping during warm months. A digital photo frame is an excellent tool for showing buyers what the exterior of the home and the yard are like when everything is in bloom. If the property has a garden(s), make a list of the perennials that are planted and where they are located. Landscaping can be very expensive and time consuming. Many potential buyers will be pleased to learned the seller has invested time and money on the yard.
Clear walkways and driveway-
Don’t’ forget to clear your front and rear walks; a snow-filled driveway is unappealing right from the start. A seller wants to make it easy and comfortable for a buyer to enter their home. Trudging up to an entrance in deep snow can be a turn off. Keep plenty of rugs at the entries so buyers can clean off and remove their shoes. Also, by clearing off driveway, decks, and patio you are giving a buyer the true sense of their size. A double wide driveway is a great selling feature but only if they know it is there.