Many homeowners are under the impression they should put off trying to sell until spring…
…but the fall and winter months offer their own set of benefits. With smart preparations, you can participate in a rewarding housing market, regardless of the season. Here is how to turn an off-season listing into a successful sale.
Note the advantages
The housing market is in full swing during spring and summer, and there is no denying that. However, that doesn’t mean you’re going to take a hit when it comes to pricing your home in the off-season. There are important advantages in listing your house for sale during those months. A huge bonus is that your competition isn’t as fierce. Since many sellers do wait until spring or summer, you have a better chance of attracting serious buyers. Among those serious buyers are people facing job-related relocation, which is often timed for the start of the new year. Sales turn around quickly during the colder seasons, too, and believe it or not, homes often get better sale prices than in other times of the year. Familiarity with the market is a boon, so look into trends and housing prices in your area. As an example, homes in the Buffalo, New York, area sold for an average price of $138,000 in the past month.
Rethinking Curb Appeal
You might think curb appeal is reduced to the bare bones of your trees and shrubs because of the season, but with a little creativity, you can add terrific curb appeal to catch the attention of house hunters. For instance, dressing your front door with seasonal decorations can welcome buyers to your home. You can flank your entryway with urns filled with greenery and add coordinating window boxes for balance. If the landscape is looking drab, add a pop of color by painting your front door. Older, overgrown trees and shrubs should be removed, especially if they keep the sunlight from coming in through your windows. Make sure your house numbers are sparkling and new and keep your walkways and driveway cleared of leaves, snow, and ice. If mud is a concern, install a boot scraper since it will hold up better than your welcome mat. Note that you should make your changes for enhanced curb appeal before taking the photos for your listing. Most buyers start their shopping via the web these days, and if your house looks dull or mucky in the photos, you won’t make a positive impression. It’s important enough to have an attractive online listing that US News suggests pulling photos from last spring if you have appropriate ones available that showcase your home.
Daylight is at a premium during the months of fall and winter, and improving your home’s lighting can make it feel more open and cheerful. Add some lights in the dark corners of rooms, whether with floor lamps or by installing more fixtures. Kitchens often sell a home at any time of year, so ensure that yours offers both task and ambient lighting. Consider a blend of hanging fixtures, downlights, and strips of lights under your cabinets for the best effect.
When selling a home in the off-season, it’s particularly important to offer buyers a property that is move-in ready. Family Handyman points out a turn-key property is more desirable since making significant repairs during winter weather, or around the holidays, can be especially inconvenient. Also, be sure to tackle pertinent home maintenance tasks, like clearing your gutters, changing the furnace filter, and removing any damage to your landscaping from storms. Just because it’s the off-season doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a successful home sale. Make proper preparations before listing your home on the market, and keep up with whatever the weather sends your way. These strategies will ensure you receive an offer before you know it.