4 Things You Should Know About Selling a Home in Fall or Winter

4 Things You Should Know About Selling a Home in Fall or Winter

Not every seller has the luxury of waiting until late spring to list their home. Nor should you have to! You can sell your home successfully any time of year, fall and winter included. But if you want a profitable sale in the off-season, you need the right approach.

Who buys a home in winter?

A first-quarter job relocation is perhaps the most common reason buyers hit the market in winter. That’s good news for sellers, because it means buyers are serious about buying a home and motivated to move quickly. Some company relocation packages also include coverage for closing costs and real estate commissions, which may speed up purchase negotiations.

What about pricing?

The common logic says that home prices dip in winter. That can be true, but competitive housing markets don’t stop being competitive just because the weather is chilly. In Charlotte, where prices are rising and inventory is low, sellers can attract great offers as long as they price their listing right.

 

Summer brings large pools of buyers competing for limited housing inventory. But in winter when there are fewer buyers on the market, sellers can’t count on bidding wars to drive offer prices up.

 

Instead, sellers need to price their listing accurately from the outset, which means understanding current home prices and trends for the area. A little online research will tell you what you need to know — like the fact that Charlotte homes tend to sell within 1 percent of list price and last month’s average sale price of $225K is up 11.4 percent from the same time last year.

How can I create curb appeal in winter?

Winter weather throws a wrench in typical curb appeal recommendations like greening up your lawn and tidying the flower beds. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t create impactful curb appeal.

 

These tips create an inviting exterior when the days are cold and nightfall comes early:

●      Clean the windows. Realtor.com names dirty windows as one of the top mistakes made by winter sellers. Without leaves to shade your windows, the bright winter light highlights every smudge and smear for buyers to see.

●      Prune trees and shrubs. Dead limbs stick out when branches are bare in winter.

●      Dress up the front porch. Lowe’s has great ideas for wreaths, potted plants, and porch displays that are perfect for the season.

●      Pay attention to lighting. Early sunsets mean many buyers will drive by your home after dark. Ensure they get a good view by lighting entrances and walkways. The right indoor lighting also contributes to a cozy, welcoming feel.

●      Scale back the holiday décor. As a seller, you want your home to appeal to all serious buyers. If your holiday decorations are overdone or religious in nature, you might inadvertently alienate some people. If you choose to decorate for the holidays, stick to timeless classics like string lights and a tastefully-decorated tree in the window.

●      Don’t forget safety. Snowy sidewalks and icy stairs are a serious safety hazard. Ensure buyers can approach your home safely by keeping pathways clear and dry.

Should I take my home off the market over the holidays?

It’s tempting to remove your listing over the holidays. After all, you’re busy shopping, cooking, and spending time with family. But not only will your home not sell if it’s not listed, buyers take advantage of time off work over the holidays to house hunt. If your home is temporarily delisted, you could miss out on a serious buyer.

 

Moving during the holidays isn’t fun either, but it comes with some advantages: Time off from work and school makes moving less hectic and kids get to start school at the beginning of a new semester.

 

The bottom line? Motivated buyers and sellers and a less saturated market make fall and winter excellent seasons to sell a home. However, don’t think you can do it alone! You’ll want a great agent on your side to craft a competitive listing and handle the work of a winter sale.

 

Suzie WilsonComment