Can I Sell My House in the Winter?
Many homeowners mistakenly believe that summer is the only time to sell. While it’s true that there are more buyers roaming the streets during the warmer months, life happens all year long, and plenty of homebuying hopefuls are popping up every day. Keep reading for a few ideas to help you get through the madness of the season while your home is up for sale.
Inviting and delighting
It’s dark and dreary, but that doesn’t mean your home has to be. Give your home an inviting feel by strategically lighting areas that usually only enjoy natural light. Pay attention to outdoor illumination as well, because curb appeal matters, even at night. Highlight the coziest spots in your home by leaving a few reminders of what your buyers might do if they lived there. This might be leaving an open book and a blanket on a comfy chair next to the fireplace or having a strategically-positioned craft left out on the office table.
Keep in mind that a few Christmas decorations can make your house feel like home, but avoid the temptation to overdo it. More does not mean better, and too much holiday cheer may be a distraction. If you need ideas on tasteful holiday decorations, this slideshow compiled by Real Simple’s Brigitte Earley offers up plenty of seasonal inspiration.
Clean and clear
All of the Christmas decorations and lighting in the world won’t make your home any more appealing if it’s not completely clean. A good rule of thumb is to take out anything that’s not necessary for your daily life. This includes furniture and family heirlooms.
Once everything is clean and clutter-free, you’ll also need to spend some time fixing little issues that will be a big deal to your buyers. If you remove family photos as part of your cleaning efforts, fill any nail holes left behind. A few gallons of neutral paint will go a long way toward freshening up your entire interior. If your kitchen and bathroom are outdated, don’t worry about doing a major overhaul, but do take the time to replace missing tiles, clean the appliances, and swap out worn faucets and fixtures.
Big issues that do need to be rectified before your home is listed include leaking toilets and major plumbing repairs, such as a busted mainline. Unfortunately, this can cost thousands of dollars, according to Thumbtack. Electrical issues and those that affect the home’s HVAC unit should also be taken care of now. This won’t save you any money, but it will save you time and trouble in negotiations when offers start rolling in.
Priced right and ready
If you haven’t given much thought to pricing your home, sit down with your realtor and discuss this very important aspect of the sale. While you may think it is simply a matter of pricing like other similar homes, the reality is that there is much more to it than that. Using a strategic price point or value range marketing may help you get more money by attracting a larger buyer pool. For example, if you think your home is valued at around $228,000, there’s no reason to price it at exactly that. It will show up in the same search results as a home listed at $229,900 since people tend to search in increments of $5,000-$10,000.
There is no guarantee of a quick sell no matter when you put your home on the market. However, by paying attention to the pricing structure, cleanliness, and atmosphere, you will make your home a strong contender for the short-lists of buyers who are serious about making their move this holiday season.
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