Benefits of Selling Your Home During Winter

House_Snow_Hands.jpgWinter is not a time of year typically associated with a lot of home sales, but real estate experts advise that owners can actually tap this unique market. All it takes is a different type of prep work and a positive attitude.

While bright, sunny days coupled with warm weather and green grass can seem like the best way to market a home, some industry insiders actually prefer to market a home in winter, according to the Realty Times. Homes tend to be more brightly lit and festively decorated in a way that makes a listing look a lot more “homey”.

Everyone is Motivated in the Winter
Another huge benefit that comes with putting a home up for sale in the winter is interest of getting a deal done as quickly and easily as possible. Sellers who decide to sell in the winter are typically those who either have to get their homes on and off the market quickly or have had the property up for sale for a few months and want to strike a deal as soon as possible.

In either case, veteran real estate professionals will often advise that buyers at this time of year are likewise motivated to move in quickly. They might need to move for job-related reasons and want to do so when there’s less competition from other buyers or hope to relocate while prices are still below what they might expect to see a few months down the line.

What to Keep in Mind
It’s worth noting that homeowners have a serious part to play in making sure their properties are fully up to code and ready for the sales process. Any issues that arise could hold up what would otherwise be a quick and easy sales process. That point goes beyond simply making sure a home is ready for a photo or video shoot and involves ensure all home systems (heating and cooling, hot water heaters, etc…) are in good working order.

When mishaps arise with those home systems, they can lead to backups because of how busy the associated repair professionals are at this time of year. Therefore, getting systems tested before the home is put up for sale is usually a great idea.

Likewise, it’s usually smart for owners to invest in a home warranty ahead of a sale to make sure that if something does go wrong for those systems, they’ll have some financial protection and added peace of mind. That can be a huge benefit for buyers as well, and highlighting that protection might be an extra selling point at this time of year.

It’s also important for owners to remember that the more limited number of shoppers seen on the market at this time of year means that they might need to be a little more flexible in how they conceive of the sales process. Some home buyers may be perfectly willing to buy, but then the holiday season gets in the way, delaying the sale. Other buyers might want to get the sales process wrapped up as quickly as possible. Home sellers should be prepared for all scenarios.

Hosting an Open House
Because of how tight anyone’s schedule can be at this time of year, there are not as many open houses. This can actually present a significant opportunity for you to show off your home with an open house and putting your best foot forward.

Make sure your home is 100 percent ready for that open house. At this time of year, that effort usually starts with two different types of curb appeal. First, it’s important to keep a yard in the best shape possible, even if there’s a blanket of snow on it. Clearing out sticks and dead leaves can go a long way here, as can tasteful holiday decoration, where it’s appropriate.

The other aspect of curb appeal is making sure all paths are safe for people to walk on. Clearing snow, ice and puddles from driveways and walkways, as well as the sidewalks will help sellers and their guests avoid any potential accidents and also show that you are conscientious about attending to your property.

Issues to Avoid
Once open houses have been held and bids are starting to come in, keep a positive mental attitude. It can be easy to worry about getting a sale done in short order or a good price for a home, but at especially at this time of year, sellers’ agents will have more time to devote to the sale of their listings and make sure everything goes smoothly.

Remember, at some point the finer details of a sale are out of the sellers’ hands. Rather than getting worked up about things you can’t control, it’s usually a better idea to let you agent do his/her job. Relax and enjoy the season for what it is – an opportunity to spend time with family and friends.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty.  HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers. To learn more click www.hmsnational.com.

Three Tips to Selling a Home in the Winter

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Winter is generally considered a slow period for selling homes, but studies show the season isn’t as bad as some people think.

Winter isn’t well regarded as far as selling homes go, but with the right real estate marketing tactics, your agent can make sure you see some pay off with a sold home as the temperature gets colder. In fact, in one real estate analysis of homes listed, Redfin found some surprising results for winter sales. Homes listed during the winter are actually 9 percentage points more likely to sell. Not only that, but they sell faster – typically about a week quicker – and for 1.2 percentage points more relative to list price than houses listed in other seasons.

As long as it’s done properly, listing homes in the winter can actually be an advantage. There are a number of ways to do this, ranging from reworking listing prices to enhancing aesthetic values. Here are three tips to sell your home during the winter months:

One – Your Home Should Look Good From the Street
Winter isn’t a great time for the exterior of any home in a colder climate. For this reason, sellers need to spruce up their houses to make them more attractive to potential home buyers. It is helpful to have:

  • A fresh coat of paint to the front door
  • Gardens should be prepared for the winter  (mow the lawn and trim up hedges)
  • Walkways and the driveways should always be clear of snow and ice

Two – Adjust Prices to the Winter market
Also be sure to adjust the price according to how homes sell in your area during the winter. Keep in mind there will likely be fewer buyers, and adjust the price accordingly so that it is more attractive to everyone searching the market, rather than a select few.

Three – Use the small winter inventory to highlight features 
Similarly, there will also be fewer homes on the market. This means it will be easier to highlight features that make your home stand out from the competition. There are a number of things that can be highlighted to make a home more attractive to winter buyers:

  • What does the home offer that others don’t? A nice deck? Spacious lower level?
  • Does the community offer special amenities? Tennis courts? Parks and playgrounds?
  • Does the property offer easy proximity for commuters or shopping and restaurant districts?

Ultimately winter doesn’t have to be a slow period to sell your home.

Brought to you by our preferred Partner, HMS Home Warranty.  HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers.  To learn more click www.hmsnational.com.

Tips To Sell Your Home During Winter

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If you are planning on selling your home during the winter, there are some things you can do to make it appealing to buyers. Here are some tips to help you sell:

Warm House
Keep your home warm! Buyers who preview your home need to feel comfortable. A cold house is not a warm reception. If you have drafts in your home, be sure to have them sealed.

Light It Up
Days are shorter during the winter. Be sure to turn on all of your lights for buyers. Make sure the blinds are open and curtains are pulled away from windows to let in as much light as possible.

Curb Appeal
If a buyer cannot enter the home easily, it will not sell. Sidewalks and the driveway should always be clear of snow and ice. Be sure to clear off your deck and patio, too.

Photos
If you have photos of your home in warmer seasons, be sure to have them on display!

Fireplace
Although you do not want to turn on the fireplace (for safety reasons), if you have a fireplace now is the time to highlight it to potential buyers.

Accessories
A throw draped over the back of a couch or chair and a nice quilt at the bottom of a bed are nice additions for colder months. You want to emphasize comfort in your home.

Outdoor Rooms?
Do you have an outdoor room that can be used in winter? If you have a covered porch or an outdoor fireplace, make sure it is staged and furnished.

Is Winter a Good Time to Sell Your Home?

house-snowThe summer buying season got its name for a reason: It is by far the busiest time for real estate sales in the calendar year. However, this fact seems to have also created something of an unfair negative view of other times to both sell and buy properties. In fact, some experts say there are actually benefits to putting a property up for sale over the course of the winter.

Industry data suggests homes put up for sale in winter actually sell more quickly than those in the summer, according to several reports. This outcome is also true when it comes to buyers meeting sellers’ initial asking prices. And while these sales conditions may seem counterintuitive to some homeowners, it’s important to remember one thing: More people put their homes up for sale in the summer, so there’s more competition on both the buying and selling sides of the market.

Why winter is a great time for sellers
While most would-be sellers think it’s wise to put their properties up for sale in, say, May or June, those who do so in January, February, and even March are more likely to find a captive audience of hopeful buyers, the report said. Moreover, because there’s so much competition in the summer and even fall months, homes can sometimes stay on the market for a few extra months.

But those who decide to put their homes on the market in the winter months initially may find that while there are fewer buyers actively looking to make a purchase at that time of year, those who are in the market could be more motivated to get the  deal done. A smaller market doesn’t necessarily mean one that is less likely to be conducive to making deals, and there can be a significant benefit that comes from listing in winter for those looking to close quickly.

Beneficial for buyers as well
Meanwhile, because of all the people in the market in summer, bidding wars can get heated quickly, resulting in higher sales prices overall, according to new NerdWallet data. That might be good for many sellers, but buyers looking to find a bargain on a home will likely do better to wait out the competition and seek to purchase in fall and winter instead.

“If your circumstances give you the freedom to be able to choose the best time to look to sign a contract on a new home, there’s no question that the market dynamics favor you the most to do that in the dead of winter, ideally in January or February, right before the activity starts to heat up,” Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for Realtor.com, told the news source.

With all this in mind, sellers will have to weigh what is more important to them as part of their home sales goals: maximizing their sale prices or getting through the process as quickly as possible. Each objective has its own merits, so how those realities apply to individual owners may vary significantly. Working with a real estate professional can help owners make the decision that works best for them.

Look at homes for sale.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty.  HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers.  To learn more click www.hmsnational.com.