Traditional real estate marketing says homes sell better in the Spring and that if you haven’t sold by the time school starts, you might as well wait until the weather warms again. But these days, real estate is anything but traditional.
In fact, some studies show that winter is the best time to sell a home.
Any time from December to May can be ideal for listing your home and February often is the best month to list with the highest reported home sales within ninety days of placing a home on the market.
Real estate professionals know that home shoppers venturing out in January and February typically are motivated and serious. That means less time spent on just lookers and more time spent negotiating with actual potential buyers. Some locations experience bidding wars during these months because fewer homes are on the market.
Prepping Your Home
Preparing your home to sell during the winter months can be a bit more challenging. While you might try accomplishing major upgrades in the warmer months, if you want to sell in the winter months, consider simpler upgrades such as painting the front door, replacing older exterior and interior light fixutres, or changing out the countertops for a solid surface top. You might also consider updating window treatments and fixtures to maximize the current look of your home.
If you’ve decorated with brighter paint colors, consider toning them down with some modern neutrals such as warm gray or café au lait. Using low VOC paints is easier on your family’s respiratory system when painting during winter months. Since you are less able to open up the house to air it out, low VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints allow you freshen your walls without the odors and toxins standard paints can release into your home.
Quick Showing Tips
If your home is going to sell in winter, you still need to remember the rules of curb appeal:
- Keep sidewalks and driveways shoveled and make certain they are not icy. The last thing you need is for someone to slip or fall when looking at your home.
- Make your home warm (but not stuffy) and inviting by lighting up all the rooms and even lighting the fireplace.
- Remove icicles from your gutters and remember that crystal clear, clean windows gives the best first impression.
- Cozy up your home with comfortable throws on the sofa, but take care to remove textiles that contain pet odors since indoor odors can be magnified in the colder months.
- Be proactive about having doormats so that visitors can wipe their feet as they enter.
As always, relying on the advice of an experienced, knowledgeable real estate professional is an extremely valuable resource when preparing your home to sell in the winter months. I prepare a Custom Pre-listing Optimization Plan for each of my clients to ensure that they are showcasing their largest assest in the best possible way. Call me today to discuss your needs.