Typically, it is the warmer months of spring and summer that are considered the “prime” season for selling a home. With the longer days, warmer weather and the impending school calendar, buyers can be more motivated to get into a new home. However, putting a house (or keeping a house) on the market during the fall and winter months isn’t without its own perks. Trying to decide if you should list or keep your home on the market? Read on to learn what to expect.
1. There will be less competition.
If you’re listing your home in either the fall or the winter months, then you’re generally going to see a smaller inventory of available homes on the market, which means less competition for those who do decide to list or sell their home during this time. The reason for this? People either don’t feel like dealing with having their house on the market in the months leading up to the holidays, or they’re worried they’re not going to get as much for their house as they would have during spring or summer.
2. You might encounter some “bargain shoppers.”
While the trend does seem to be that houses sell for more during spring and summer, just keep in mind that, unless you’re absolutely desperate to sell your house by winter’s end, you don’t have to accept a price that you think is too low. Remember to consult with your real estate agent on what your ideal listing price is and what it should be, and stick to your guns. You should have a very clear idea of what your listing price should be in order for you to get what you need, while being reasonable about what your house is worth and how the market supports your price. You could even talk to your agent about raising your listing price, to anticipate the lower offers that you might receive. There will be “bargain shoppers” out there, yes, but if they’re motivated, they’ll be willing to make an acceptable offer regardless. Don’t waste time with low-ballers.
3. Buyers might be more motivated.
If you’ve got a potential buyer asking to schedule a showing of your house two days before Thanksgiving, they’re probably pretty motivated, so while you may not see as many requests to schedule showings, the requests you do receive will likely be for serious buyers. This is the holiday season after all, and most people will want to be closing on or in their new home by Thanksgiving or Christmas if they can swing it. You should also see some more buyers pop up after the holidays have passed, kids are back in school and life has begun to resume normally.
Also, keep in mind that, while you’ve got your house on the market during the “off-season,” buyers looking at your house are also doing so in the “off-season,” so there may very well be another motivating factor, like a new job or change in the family, that is fueling their need to get into a new home quickly.
4. Curb appeal still counts.
With barren trees and brown grass, it can be hard to make your home look as inviting as it might in the spring when your azaleas are in full bloom. However, there are definitely tactics that you can employ. Do your best to stay on top of pine needles, leaves and debris. Yes, we know how daunting of a task this can be, especially being that we’re in the southeastern part of the state, which we’re pretty sure is partially comprised of pine needles. If you can’t possibly fathom raking all of the pine needles in your yard, at least make sure your keep pathways, steps and driveways swept and tidy. Definitely take this time to put out some bright potted plants, like hardy, cheerful mums or poinsettias, and add some tasteful holiday touches, like wreaths, pumpkins, garland, etc — whatever best corresponds to the appropriate holiday.
5. Cultivate some coziness indoors.
It’s cold and dreary out, so make sure the inside of your home exudes warmth and comfort. Definitely make sure to keep the house as lighted as possible, since you’ll be dealing with darker days earlier. If you don’t have window treatments to cover dark windows at night, get some. Bleak, black windows are not only off-putting for those are trying to picture themselves living in your home, but they are more likely to be radiating some of the cold from outside. If you want to play into the holidays, get some hot apple cider simmering on the stove, light your fireplace (if you have one), and add some holiday decorative touches like garland or festive pillows.
Whether you decide to list or keep your home on the market during fall and winter or not, just keep in mind, it only takes one buyer to get your house sold, so don’t be scared away by the idea that you aren’t going to get as many showings. In fact, it’s not uncommon for fall and winter to see faster closings than in the spring and summer. As always, if you have questions or need help, feel free to contact us at email@example.com or by calling 800-533-1840!