The winter holiday season is not peak real estate season, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait until spring to sell your house. With the right real estate agent, winter strategies, and a little creative marketing, selling your house during the winter holiday season is sure to be a success
Who buys in the winter?
The winter holiday season runs from December 1st to February 28th. The last few years have seen a steady increase in winter home sales as well as a decrease in days on the market. All kinds of buyers shop during the winter, not just buyers looking for summer or vacation homes.
While the winter months are often marked by less than stellar weather, the slow season offers sellers both benefits and challenges.
Benefits of selling in the winter
- Less competition – With fewer homes on the market, that means less competition from other sellers. Your home is more likely to stand out simply because there are fewer homes to choose from.
- More attentive agents – Winter is a slower season for most real estate agents which works well for you. They’ll have more time to pay attention to your listing, set up showings, and negotiate the right deal for your home.
- Tax benefits – Often, buyers searching for a home at the end of the year are looking for tax benefits. They are often more motivated to complete the sale before the new year than other buyers.
Challenges of selling in the winter
- Limited curb appeal – Winter weather makes it tough to show off your home’s exterior beauty. It may be dark and dreary and landscaping is all in hibernation. Do what you can to spruce up the outdoors and always shovel and salt sidewalks and driveways.
- Lowball offers – There are some buyers that may think you are desperate to offload your home. It’s possible that you may receive more than one lowball offer.
- Delays in financing – Timing is crucial during the holidays. Delays may occur as people often take vacations to visit family during this time of year. You’ll also want to account for bank holidays.
No matter what time of year you decide to sell your home, there will always be challenges. If you are thinking about selling this holiday season, check out our top tips for success.
Hire the right agent
Selling during the slow season means hiring the right agent is even more important. It is an essential part of success and reduces your stress, especially during the holidays.
Scale back the decorations
You don’t have to forego all of your holiday decorations, but it’s good to keep it more minimal than your usual holiday fare. Consider toning down the size of your tree and displaying a festive centerpiece. Try not to block or cover fireplace mantels, stairs, or any decorative glass you have in your home. Instead, find simple ways to highlight those features while still creating a warm, festive atmosphere.
Add winter curb appeal
Your home looks different in the winter, but you can still create some curb appeal. Make sure you’ve cleaned up any fall décor and have raked up any residual fall leaves. Keep your walkways clear and shoveled and don’t forget to clean out the gutters. Keep inside and outside mats clean and available for buyers to use to wipe their feet. You can also hang a tasteful wreath on the front door.
Invest in professional photography
During winter months, your listing is more important than ever. Invest in professional photography of your home if that’s not a service your Realtor already provides. You want to put your best foot forward in your listing and hiring a professional is one way to stand out.
If your home takes a bit longer to sell, make sure you aren’t still rocking Christmas lights in February. It is off-putting to potential buyers. You may also want to update images in your listing to accurately portray how your home currently looks.
If you are thinking about selling your home this winter, we’d love to answer any questions you may have! Feel free to contact us at 801.210.0819.