The real estate market is seasonal and typically the fall and winter are quieter seasons. This year with the increases in interest rates the market can seem particularly slow. However, homes will still be bought and sold. Some situations, like relocating for a job, big life events, like marriages, new born children, divorces and more, may have you trying to sell your home during the fall and winter months.
Remember that failing to prepare, often means preparing to fail and while selling a home in the offseason may seem daunting, you can increase your odds significantly by adjusting your strategy to reflect this time of year. Our team has put together tips to help you do just that…
Tips for Selling Your Home in the Fall & Winter Months
Provide That Cozy Feeling
From a report by National Association of Realtors: 82% of buyers’ agents said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as their future home. Don’t skip staging – this step is so important!
For these seasons, this means making the home feel cozy – drape a chunky throw over the couch, turn on the fireplace, swap out throw pillows with cozy colors and textures.
Add life… Plants not only give your home warmth and life, they can purify the air in your home. English Ivy and Peace Lily’s are popular choices.
Infuse your house with Fall scents – light candles, turn on a diffuser, pumpkin it up!
Make sure to leave white space and create intentional spaces. Reading nooks, craft rooms, a place to play cards with your friends…be intentional with the spaces you create so that they compliment your lifestyle instead of interfering.
Don’t over do it though… avoid decorating with skeletons, bats, and cobwebs, dancing Santas and the like. Remember that not all prospective buyers share your cultural beliefs or decorative tastes. This doesn’t mean forgoing decorating altogether, but more importantly to keep it tasteful and understated.
Let There Be Light
During these seasons there is considerably less natural light. This can impact both the images taken for your home’s marketing as well as for potential showings.
Twinkle lights, warmer bulbs, additional lamps and new pennants add a little magic to your home. Upgrading your window treatments also elevates the coziness of your space.
Schedule your photos and showings for late morning or early afternoon to get as much natural light as possible.
Provide Creature Comforts
Part of creating a cozy and inviting feel for your home is making sure the temperature is set to make your home feel nice and warm.
If your home has a fireplace, make sure its lit for your showings, not only to add warmth, but to create the ideal atmosphere.
Provide space for potential buyers to hang up their coats and feel right at home in the cozy environment you created.
Leave out a seasonal snack – kettle corn, candy corn, apple cider, pick your favorite so the buyers can stay and enjoy!
Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness
In the latter part of the year, lighting, snow gear and more time spent indoors can cause some parts of your home to look dirtier than they do during other times of the year.
Don’t forget to clear the clutter. Clear spaces to make them appear larger. Give the garage a good clean up, clear off countertops, and think minimalism when it comes to decor.
First Impressions Count
In this day and age the first impression a potential buyer has of your home typically comes from the photos they see of your home online. We have discussed lighting above, but additionally if you have any appealing photos from other seasons, think of including those too.
Once the potential buyer schedules a showing, the next “first impression” comes from your home’s curb appeal. Make sure that your property looks well-maintained and inviting before buyers even step in the front door.
Use plenty of lighting, display winter planters and make sure to keep your home clean and presentable.
Keep your driveway, paths, patios, and decks clear of snow and ice so potential buyers can safely access and view your entire property.
Top Notch Home Maintenance
Don’t leave the repairs for the buyers. Take care of them before you put your house on the market to avoid buyers subtracting those repairs from their offer price.
Living in a colder climate, there are seasonal tasks you need to complete to “winterize” your home. This includes blowing out your irrigation system, making sure your furnace and chimney are inspected, clearing gutters and more.
Completing these maintenance tasks will help you to pass a home inspection when you end up getting that offer.