Listing A Home In The Dead Of Winter
Winter isn't exactly peak season for real estate sales, but that doesn't mean listing a home between December and February is necessarily a bad idea. Buyers who shop for homes during the winter often tend to be more serious, and with career-related relocations at an all-time high according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, many buyers don't have the luxury to delay their purchase until the spring or summer.
Online listings with attractive and professional photographs are always a good idea, but they're even more vital during winter, since most buyers are more selective about the homes they visit. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, Internet searches for real estate surge during the winter months because people are pre-screening listings. They tend to give extra consideration to homes that include plenty of photographs and contain solid descriptions. Also, a professional video can go a long way toward cultivating solid leads.
Once you get prospective buyers to visit the home, first impressions are extremely important—and cultivating curb appeal can be more challenging during the winter months. Why's that? Bare trees can expose cosmetic flaws that lush greenery might otherwise hide. In other words, a fresh coat of paint and a well-kempt yard are essential.
When listing a home during the winter, try to make the Open Houses as cozy and inviting as possible. If the weather outside is cold, turn up the heat. Ask your agent to play some soft jazz or classical music in the background, and offer some warm, tasty treats. A cup of hot cocoa or a batch of chocolate chip cookies, for instance, never hurt a seller's prospects!
Finally, if you're selling a home during the holiday season, it's best not to go overboard with decorations. While some experts recommend forgoing holiday decorations entirely, others believe that decorations create a more enticing environment. Whatever you do, make sure the decorations are tasteful and don't draw anyone's attention away from the home's strongest selling points.