It’s no secret that winter is generally a more difficult time to sell your home. Without a green yard, lush trees and extra hours of daylight, it can be problematic to show off your home to potential buyers. But if you simply can’t wait to put your home on the market come spring, try the following tips to help you through the sluggish off season market:
Know Your Local Market
It’s not just knowing about the market in Southeast Wisconsin, it’s about understanding the pricing of homes and how long they are in the market in your neighborhood. Real estate activity can vary greatly depending on the neighborhood. Do your homework and really get to know the pulse of your local real estate market. This is where hiring an educated Realtor comes in handy – they’ll be able to guide you through the selling process and are an asset in pricing and marketing your home aggressively in the off season.
Set the Stage Outside…
It’s harder to make your home look attractive to buyers in the winter, especially because you have limited daylight hours. Make sure to keep driveways and walkways free of snow and ice. If buyers can’t maneuver the outside of your home, they’ll never make it inside to buy! Also, because it’s pitch dark by 5:00 p.m., it’s important to keep your house visible; keep lights on inside and outside of your home. You may want to consider installing accent lighting outside to really show off your home.
In winter’s cold, it’s important to keep your home warm and inviting to anyone touring. Keep the thermostat up to a cozy temperature. If you’ve got a gas fireplace, keep it running through showings for nice ambiance. You should also pump an inviting smell through your home during showings – some favorites include fresh-baked cookies and bread. Also make sure to take down anything that will impede potential buyers from thinking of your home as theirs; this includes family photos, drinking glasses and pieces of mail.
True, the real estate market is improving, but you still need to be flexible when receiving bids, especially in the winter months. Entertain all bids, and throw in extras, like helping with closing costs, to help bring in the sale of your home. It’s a buyer’s market, and if you’re not willing to hear bids lower than you’d prefer, your home will not sell quickly.
Emphasize Wintertime Conveniences
Is your home on a street that gets plowed often or next door to a school so that kids don’t have to wait in the cold for a school bus? Make sure to point out ways that your home makes it convenient to deal with inconvenient weather.
It doesn’t have to be in impossible task to sell your home in the off season. Take pride in your home, but be flexible. Soon, someone else will be proud to own your home, too.