How and Why Should You List in the Winter
Though spring is still regarded as peak real estate shopping season, there are some major benefits to listing a home in the winter. Buyers looking for homes in the winter typically have more urgency than any other time of year. Online brokerage Redfin, found that average sellers receive more above asking price in December, January, February, and March than they do in June through November, even in cold-weather cities. Homes listed in the winter also tend to sell faster than those listed in the spring.
Not every market is suited for winter listing, however. In markets where properties are selling quickly it is safe to list in the winter. If you are selling in a real estate market where listings are typically sitting for more than 60 days, it is safer to wait to list until spring, when more buyers emerge.
If you decide to move forward with listing your home in the coming winter months, be sure to pay attention to pricing, needed repairs, and appearance.
In the winter, it is best to ask for the market value price for your listing. You are less likely to receive multiple offers in the winter months, so if you start too low with your asking price, it will be very difficult to drive the price up. If your asking price is much higher than market value from the get-go, you may have to drop to below market value to sell before spring.
Winter real estate shoppers are much more interested in issues related to heating and repairs. Make sure to have your furnace, HVAC, and roof inspected and repaired before showing the house. Also consider making minor improvements, like adding insulation, to bring down the cost of heating.
In the gloomy winter months, amplifying your home’s appearance, indoors and outdoors, can do a lot of good in selling your listing. Outdoors, plant inexpensive seasonal plants, and fix any chipped paint or broken windows. Indoors, keep a light, neutral color palette and add seasonal touches to your décor. Try to stay away from decorating in theme with any one religion or holiday, and aim for winter touches like throw blankets or stacked wood.
Remember to keep the interior of your home decorated impersonally, so potential buyers can envision themselves living in the home. Try displaying pictures of what the property looks like in other seasons, like the garden in full bloom, to further pique buyers’ interests. Click here.