Selling Your Home In the Winter

Posted by Dave Robison on Friday, November 30th, 2018 at 10:41am.

Most sellers believe that springtime is the best time to sell a home...that is NOT always the case.  Selling your home in the winter actually has quite a few advantages.  The #1 reason for listing your home in the winter is LESS COMPETITION!  If most sellers actually listed their home in the spring, the housing market would be flooded.  Typically during the winter months, there is less competition and the housing supply shrinks, limiting buyers' choices. The National Association of Realtors suggest that the "sweet spot" for listing your home is between November and February.  According to David Ramsey, home sales have increased from November to December an average of 4.5% over the last three winters. "As the temperatures start to heat up in the spring, so do listings".   

If you are considering listing your home in the winter, you need to consider the holidays.  Below are some do's and don'ts for listing your home during the holidays.

DO's

1. If possible have professional photos taken before you decorate for the holidays.  Having a Christmas tree or a porch full of pumpkins will automatically tell buyers the approximate time you listed your home.   

2. If you have already decorated, scale it back and avoid religious themes.  You want to avoid offending buyers.  

3. Hire a reliable real estate agent - this applies to selling your home anytime throughout the year.   

4. Strive for the best curb appeal.  Winter photos can be dark and dreary so make sure outdoor lights work and are on, clean up the yard, keep sidewalks clear of snow and ice, and make sure shovels and outdoor equipment is neatly stored.   

5. Keep your home cozy- if you have a fireplace, light a fire or turn on your gas fireplace.  

6. Make sure your home is free of animal odors.  Bake a batch of cookies or plug in a LIGHTLY scented air freshner.  Keep it to one or two as some buyers are sensitive to even the best of smells. 

7. Keep a basket of booties by your front door to prevent snow and mud from being tracked in.  

DON'TS

1. Don't go overboard with decorations.

2. Don't leave gifts under the tree. Consider wrapping empty boxes if you feel there should be gifts under the tree. 

3. Don't limit your availability to show your home.  Even though it's the holidays, remember the reason you listed in the first place...you want to sell your home.  Some buyers may be in town visiting and have

limited availability to house hunt.   A missed showing could be the reason your house didn't sell. 

4. If you must sell your home over the holidays, don't wait until the last minute.  With all the holidays, banks and mortgage companies may be closed or only open a few hours, causing a delay in funding/closing.  

5. Don't add more stress than what the holidays already bring. Remember that if you don't sell your home, you can look into rent options or relisting at a later date.  A professional agent can provide you with options. 

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