By AJ Smith
It's been said that spring and early summer are the best times to sell your house. Competition among buyers can be fierce during these warm months and for whatever reason, the data has consistently shown that homes sell for more in spring and early summer. Maybe there's something psychological to warm weather that entices buyers or maybe it has something to do with the fact that families want to settle in before the school year starts in the fall.
Either way, it's not always possible to choose when to put your home on the market. But while spring might be the busiest time of the year for real estate transactions, homes get bought and sold every season of the year. Here are some tips for selling your home in the off-season.
Staging for Snow: In many parts of the country it gets cold and snowy during the winter. If you live in a climate where snow is prevalent, make sure that you stage the outside of your home accordingly. Shovel the driveways and be sure to clear ice away from walkways and doors. Buyers want to feel safe and comfortable when they're looking around.
Just because your grass is brown or your house is covered in snow doesn't mean you can't stage it successfully. Try to highlight the house with tasteful winter-themed decorations like Christmas wreaths and aesthetically-pleasing lighting. Houses for sale in the winter tend to show especially well when they're decorated for the holidays.
Seeing decorations, lights and presents under a Christmas tree can create a warm feeling for buyers. And it might help your house seem even more attractive than it would be in the warmer months. Make sure that you choose tasteful decorations, though, that will appeal to a wide variety of buyers.
Leave the Lights On: Once daylight saving time ends, it can get dark pretty early. Consider putting your outdoor lights on a timer. That way, when prospective buyers show up, the house will look bright and cheery instead of dark and dreary.
You can apply the same idea to the inside of your house too. Make sure that the heat is on before buyers arrive and that the place is clean, smells fresh and is warm. First impressions are everything in real estate so you really want to "wow" buyers when they pull up to your house and walk inside.
Stand Out From the Competition: During the winter months, there may not be as many buyers but there also aren't as many sellers. Often times, off-season buyers need to move quickly, whether due to job relocation or major life changes, so be ready for them.
In order to make your property stand out, consider adding a video to your listing or creating a small website to showcase your home. When there's less competition out there, you can end up getting more for your property if you're willing to go that extra mile.
More about home selling and buying from Credit.com:
How to Search for Your Next Home
How to Buy & Sell a Home at the Same Time
Mortgage Refinancing Guidelines
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