My husband and I have decided to sell our home and move to something smaller. Our friends suggest we wait until spring to list our home, is this is the best time to sell? Is there any advantage to putting our home up for sale in the winter or should we wait until spring? Alice
Spring is the busiest time for home sales however, homes do sell during the winter months and there are advantages to selling in the winter. The Real Estate Board of Fredericton reported 321 homes sold between Jan 1 and March 31 2009. Therefore, if you want to sell and if you wait until the spring, you will be missing a significant number of serious buyers. Because of the inclement weather, there are less casual buyers and those who are shopping for a home in the wintertime are generally serious. The fact that many people do not want to sell in the winter is an advantage to the “winter home seller” as there are less homes on the market therefore less competition. This reduced supply also means that sometimes buyers who must purchase in the winter may end up paying a little more.
There are many good tips to help show your home to its best advantage in the winter. Here are my 5 top tips to keep in mind when showing in the winter.
1. Winter Curb Appeal
Keep walkways well cleared and sanded or salted as this will be the buyer’s first impression of how well the home is maintained. Cleared and well-maintained walkways and driveways will help to prevent “slip and fall” situations and show the prospective homebuyer “pride of ownership”.
2. A Warm Welcome
Take advantage of the cold weather to show how warm and cozy your home can be by turning up the heat. These cold days give an opportunity to show off that beautiful fireplace or woodstove.
3. Lighten up
The winter days are shorter and grey skies can make a home seem dark so turn on all the lights. Keep in mind though, during the winter the bright days and winter sun will draw attention to dirty window windows so give them a good cleaning.
4. Memories of summer
If you have visually pleasing summer photographs of your home leave them out and on display for homebuyers to browse.
5. Good Sense
With doors and windows closed during the winter, scents both good and bad tend to linger. Make certain it is the good scents that are remembered. You may have become accustomed to some of the smelly items in your home so it is best to remove any objects that have unpleasant odours such as litter boxes, smelly mats, pet beds and hockey bags. Do not use plug-in air fresheners or heavily scented candles as these can cause and allergic reaction in some buyers. Natural pleasant scent such as the smell of fresh baked bread or cookies always leaves a good impression.
Good Luck Selling Rebecca