Selling your house in the winter can seem like a bad idea, but the truth is that it may be the best season to get close to your asking price and showcase your home in an optimal setting.
At LAWSON & CO., we know spring dominates the industry, but we also know firsthand that it’s never a bad idea to take advantage of the lull that comes with cold weather. We have over thirty years of experience in the personal property and real estate industry, and we’ve spent that time carefully examining the advantages of off-season markets.
Here’s how selling your house in the winter can help find a buyer and what you can do to close the deal before the year is over.
Perks of Selling Your House in the Winter
Low inventory is the most beneficial perk of selling your house in the winter. There are fewer houses on the market during the winter, so potential buyers have less inventory to choose between, and your home has less competition.
Even better, your realtor has fewer homes to focus on, allowing them to put more time and effort into closing the deal. Winter home buyers are also keen on tax breaks for the upcoming year, so closing the deal before the clock strikes on January 1st can impact how close they’re willing to get to the asking price.
Another great perk of selling your house in winter is that it can make your home seem more inviting. A warm and cozy atmosphere can feel extra welcoming if the weather is biting cold outside. It triggers that “coming home” feeling at a subconscious level.
Some homes actually showcase better in winter, depending on the layout and design. For instance, if you have a gorgeous fireplace within the family room that you’ve centered furniture around, it’s a better draw during frigid months, as are sunrooms, enclosed decks and porches, hot tubs, and other additions that you use seasonally.
There’s also something to be said for motivation. Those buyers bracing the cold to look at homes are much more motivated to sign the dotted line. Many are racing the clock against a lease that will end soon or looking to relocate for an upcoming job that starts in the new year. If they have children, moving in mid-spring can be tricky since they’ll need to register for a new school.
Winter also offers time off for the holidays, which may be the only time many hard workers have available to search for a new home.
5 Tips for Selling Your House in Winter
While every season has dos and don’ts, winter has a few extra. Check out this list we’ve put together that will help you sell your house faster.
1. Keep Holiday Decorations at a Minimum
There’s no reason to forgo decorating your house for the holidays, but you want to keep it simple and secular. If your neighborhood enjoys decorating the front of their houses, join in with warm white lights and a beautiful wreath. Winter months get dark before evening falls, so many potential buyers will see your house lit up, but simple and classy is the name of the game.
Avoid yard decorations such as reindeer and inflatables. As for the inside, a nicely dressed tree can bring holiday cheer. Too many decorations can detract from the beauty of your home and make it feel cluttered. Also, be sure to take everything down before the new year.
2. Focus on Cozy
A warm and cozy home feels welcoming to buyers, especially if it’s cold outside. Don’t make it too hot. Try to keep the thermostat at 65 and set up a small fire in the hearth to lend lighting to the living room and showcase the assets. A nice neutral throw blanket artfully draped on the couch is also a great touch.
3. Keep the Pathways and Driveways Clear
Be sure that the pathway to your door is free of snow and ice and that you clear your driveway, leaving easy access to the mailbox. Snow is beautiful, but potential buyers will take note if it’s hazardous.
4. Set Up the Listing and Get Photos Before the Snow Hits
Pre-planning will go a long way when setting up a winter listing. Your photos should showcase your home free of snow so potential buyers can see everything it offers. Snow obscures the landscaping, roofing, backyard, and more. The exception is interior decoration. Winter buyers want to move quickly and will appreciate a well-staged home that’s set up for colder weather.
5. Set the Right Asking Price
Schedule a professional appraisal, so you don’t underestimate your home in the current market. The right price and a motivated buyer can significantly affect how quickly you close the deal. Remember, most buyers are looking through internet listings before scheduling viewings, and the first thing they do is check the price.
Have Questions About the Value of Your House or the Items Inside?
If you’re wondering what your home value is or whether you may have items worth selling while you purge and get ready to move, contact us at LAWSON & CO. You can call us at 317-745-6404 or send an inquiry on our website.
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