It’s here, the cold temperatures have rolled in and are likely to stay. The snow is coming down more frequently and turning Michigan into a winter wonderland. These aren’t images that invoke thoughts of house sales and open houses. Most people don’t think to sell their home during the winter unless it is absolutely necessary. But, contrary to what many believe, selling your home in the cold winter months can work in your favor.
More buyers in January
Many companies make management changes at the beginning of the new year. This is great for potential home sellers because there is a shake-up in the job market which means people may be moving into the area.
Another obvious negative about selling your home in the winter is there will be less home buyers, but the positive is that the ones that are looking are likely very serious. When you have a showing, you may not have a ton of lookey-looers, but the potential to make a sale to one of the buyers will be greater.
Selling in the winter can also be wonderful because sealing the deal is so much easier. Home lenders are much less busy in the winter, so they are able to handle the paperwork much more quickly. They will process a buyer’s loan application at a must faster rate and title companies will be able to squeeze you in much more quickly.
If you do sell in the winter, here are few things to remember:
Make sure that you price it right
Across the nation, according to Trulia, close to one-fifth of the home sellers were forced to go down on their original asking price in order to find interested buyers. To avoid having to make a reduction, it is good for you to spend some time researching the market. Don’t just look for what houses are going for on the market, but look to see what buyers have actually paid for homes like yours in the area. Bidding wars are less likely to happen in the winter with less buyers, but that doesn’t mean you should sell your house short, nor should you overprice it. Enlisting the help of your real estate agent to guide you in finding the right price, will help!
Be ready to show at all times
There is one real negative! Realize that just because you don’t want to show your home when it is blizzarding or it is Christmas Eve, doesn’t mean that potential buyers are taking a rest. You have to be ready to put your life on hold for that one special buyer who wants to purchase your home as a gift to themselves.
Don’t avoid the winterization of your home because you may not be in it. Many home buyers will specifically be looking for how well-prepared your home is for winter. In fact, that cozy fireplace that is in good working order may be the thing that seals the deal for potential buyers. Winterize by: seal all seams between your foundation and frame; caulk between the windows and the window frames; add insulation if you can; and clean your gutters, and check for drafts all along your home.
Speaking of cozy, go ahead and make your home as appealing as possible for the winter conditions. Use light bulbs that radiate a soft ambiance. Stage some cozy areas for reading and family time. Light some candles and make sure that your home isn’t dark and dingy to match the gray, drab skies. Bake some cookies before they come over. Likewise, open up the space and eliminate all the clutter to make your home inviting for buyers.
Selling your home in the winter is not a bad idea. If you are prepared to take the bad with the good, it might actually be a really good idea. Another good idea, well actually, a great idea is to contact your realtor for additional advice on how to get your home ready for the market, on the market, and SOLD long before spring has sprung!