Many people feel selling a house in the winter is one of the worst times to sell. However, if you are seriously looking to sell your home, I suggest you consider selling in the winter months. The winter is not always the worst time to sell a house and there are many things to consider when selling. Sometimes it is more important to sell now than wait for the unknown future. And, if you sell in the winter there may even be some advantages.
Why should you sell your home in the winter?
There is a lot of negative thoughts about selling a home in the winter, but data collected by Redfin, a real estate research and brokerage company, suggests otherwise. Redfin researched the sale of homes starting in March 2011 up to March 2013 and discovered some pretty interesting facts. Their data shows that winter listings are 9% more likely to sell and sell one week faster compared to homes sold during other seasons. Why is this the case? Redfin’s data proves that buyers are more motivated to strike a deal because they need to find a home and aren’t “just looking.” This gives sellers more power when negotiating deals.
From our experience as Realtors in the Greeley, Colorado area for many years, we can attest that selling in the winter is not always bad. Many times we have listings from sellers we represent or our own listings that need to be sold in the winter. We have found that while there are usually less showings in the winter, the buyers tend to be more serious. The fair weather buyers will look at houses when the weather is nice and they are comfortable, but the people who need to buy a home will look any time of the year.
We have had quite a few closings this winter and when speaking to the title company that we usually use, they said December was there busiest month since mid summer!
Even if winter makes it harder to sell your house, consider this…
Let us assume that selling in the winter is a bad time to sell. The data suggests otherwise, but consider this just in case you do not believe the data. Most people who have to sell a home, also have to buy another home. Whether you are relocating, moving up or moving down, people who sell typically buy. When you buy a house you are buying in the same market as when you are selling. If the market you are selling in is a buyer’s market, than you will have a better chance of getting an awesome deal as a buyer. Even if you sell your house for a little less than you might in the summer, you may more than make up for it when you buy a new house.
How to prepare your home for a winter sale
Once you make the decision to list your home, it is time to prepare your home for showings. The most important thing you can do when hosting showings at your home during any season is making it presentable and “homey.” In the winter there are some more things you can do to help your house sell. See this article for more tips on selling.
Light some candles and a fire
During the winter, lighting a few candles and a fireplace, if you have one, creates a warm and inviting environment. It is also doesn’t hurt to have your heat on. If your house is freezing when buyers come to view it, it will leave a very bad impression. They may thing it has little insulation or the heating system is not adequate. (don’t leave unattended candles burning for very long!)
Scent your home
Certain scents can attract buyers as well, just make sure they aren’t too overwhelming. A tried and true tip is to simmer fresh cider on the stove or bake bread/cookies. The scents aren’t overpowering and when complimented with winter snacks, buyers will become more interested.
Keep your walk and drive clear
Another thing that should never be overlooked is having clear walkways and driveway. Keep your drive and walk free of snow at all times to prevent any ice from forming. Use ice melt, or sand to keep ice to a minimum. The last thing you want is a potential buyer slipping and hurting themselves before even getting to the door.
Make sure you have a welcome mat or place for people to take off their shoes
When you are tracking through snow most buyers want to take off their shoes or at least wipe their feet. Make sure you have a clear place to place shoes or a mat to wipe their feet. A quick note with instructions helps as well!
Decorate your home
Lastly, adding seasonal decorations will give your home a more inviting and cozy feel. Make your home standout with lights, wreaths and other items. It might be a good idea for you to keep your decorations on the more seasonal side and leave them up after the holidays to continue to give off a welcoming vibe.
Consider the data I shared with you to help your decision of selling your home during the winter.
Using some of these simple tips, you can create an inviting environment and help convince potential buyers to make a deal on your home.
Would you like to talk to us about selling in the Greeley, Colorado area?
If you are interested in listing your home, give us a call at 970-573-6441 or contact us.
You can also check out our standard selling packages here.