It ís December and you need to sell your house. You are probably wondering if you should try to put it on the market now or wait until Spring. Houses do sell in the winter and there may be some benefits to listing your house this time of year. Everyone knows that the prime buying season is during the Spring and Summer months, but just because there is snow on the ground doesnít mean that the buyers have disappeared. People need to, or decide to move all year long. Itís true that the buyer pool dwindles in the winter but life happens, circumstances change and people need to move. Re-locating for a job, growing families, divorce, marriage and death are all reasons people may be in the market for a home and these things can happen any time of year.
Obviously, the weather is a disadvantage during this time of year. Cold temperatures, snow and ice are not what most people consider ideal moving weather. Thatís just the reason most people delay listing their house until Spring. The housing inventory is significantly lower during the winter months, which means buyers have less to choose from. If you list your house this time of year you have significantly less competition.
Listing your house at holiday time can be a little tricky. Should you put up your Christmas decorations? What if someone wants to see your house and you are in the middle of your holiday baking? Itís ok to decorate your home for the holidays as long as you donít go too crazy. Remember, people need to see your home and it may be hard to focus on the features of your house if you have a decoration everywhere they look. A tastefully decorated holiday home can be a benefit. Buyers will get a warm cozy feeling and picture themselves having holidays with their families there. Homes may show best at this time of year when they are all decorated and smell like freshly baked cookies. It is important not to turn down showings, so try to contain messes in case you have a last minute request. Most buyers will try to schedule showings a day in advance so you can plan your activities accordingly.
The last tip for selling a home in the winter months is the same as it would be any other time of year: maximize your curb appeal. If a buyer doesnít like what they see on the outside, they wonít want to look at the inside. You must keep sidewalks, driveways and walk ways shoveled and ice free. Buyers canít look at your house if they canít get to the front door. The last thing you want is a lawsuit from someone falling on the ice on your property. If the house you are selling is vacant, hire someone to keep it shoveled. Buyers will not climb over 4 ft snow drifts to see your house!
Obviously, you wonít have green grass and colorful flowers this time of year, but you still need something to draw buyers in. Paint your front door a striking color, hang a colorful wreath and put down a new welcome mat at the front door. On those long gray days of winter, bright cheery color will stand out to buyers. If you need to sell your house, winter might be just the right time to do it!