It’s no surprise that the housing market spikes during the spring and summer months. Kids are out of school, things slow down at work, and people are anxious to get into a new house before schedules become hectic again. But it is definitely possible to sell your home in the fall and winter, especially on the Eastern Shore. There may be fewer buyers, but there are also fewer listings. This means you have a lot less competition, so it’s easier for your home to stand out as a great choice.
Fall and winter bring colorful foliage, warm scents, and an abundance of decorating ideas. You can leverage these advantages to make your home feel bright and welcoming. Read on for our tips and advice on how to sell your home in the fall or winter!
#1: Prepare your home for cold weather
When buyers are house hunting during the fall or winter, they pay a lot more attention to your HVAC system and overall home insulation. Have your heat pump, furnace, or boiler serviced prior to putting your house on the market. Change your air filters and check all weather stripping on doors and windows. If you have a fireplace, show it off! Have it on when buyers arrive so they can appreciate the advantage of having an additional heating source.
It’s a good idea to have a file buyers can look through with maintenance records and receipts for products you’ve purchased to winterize your home. This will highlight that your home is ready for the upcoming months, and it gives buyers confidence that they’ll stay warm through the winter and cool through the summer.
#2: Clean, clean, and clean some more
This rule applies no matter the season! It is so important to make a positive first impression with a clean, tidy house. And it’s especially important in the winter.
In colder months, potential buyers will pay more attention to your interior space. They’ll probably take only a quick look around your yard, but they’ll spend lots of time inside. That means buyers will notice every little detail. Clean your house, and clean it well! Scrub both outside and inside cabinets, dust ceiling fans and scrub the tiled shower. Declutter all spaces, organize the closet and the garage – nothing should go unnoticed. This is your chance to show of your space!
Don’t forget to maintain your exterior space as well. Leaf and snow-covered sidewalks can make a perfectly nice home look sloppy and poorly maintained. Rake up those dead leaves or shovel the sidewalk and deck after it snows. This demonstrates that even in inclement weather, their future lawn can be easily managed and maintained.
#3: Appeal to the senses
The fall and winter months are associated with the scent of pumpkin spice, peppermint hot chocolate, cookies, and yummy homemade pie. These are the scents of comfort and home, so use them to your advantage! You can also use holiday decorations to play up the warm, welcoming feel of your home.
If hosting an open house, bake fresh muffins and have holiday music playing softly in the background to set a warm and welcoming mood. Try displaying vases of fall foliage, or add a bowl of seasonal fruit to the kitchen table. Don’t overdo it though; you want to enhance your home’s appeal, but not obscure it. A tasteful display will show off your home in its best light. A cozy atmosphere will give potential homebuyers a warm feeling.
One note of caution, though… When you take photos for your online listing, it’s best to stay neutral with your décor. Avoid seasonal or holiday décor in your listing photos. That way, if your house is on the market for a few months, your photos won’t look out-of-date.
#4: Show buyers what your home looks like in the spring and summer
In the dead of winter, you won’t be able to show off your wonderful garden or flower beds. So it’s a good idea to display photos of your house that were taken in spring and summer. Show off your yard when the grass was green and the peonies were blooming by the pool. Highlight garden beds and decorative patio furniture. This will allow future buyers to envision themselves enjoying the home year-round.
#5: Be strategic with your listing price
During the fall and winter months, it’s particularly important to avoid setting your listing price too high. You have an advantage listing during these cooler months due to less competition. However, overpricing your home will still scare away potential buyers. It’s always a good idea to ask a local real estate professional for comps in order to pick a reasonable price range. Comps will allow you to compare similar homes in your neighborhood, including the prices of homes that are currently on the market and those that recently sold. You don’t want to get your heart set on a certain price if most buyers in your area are negotiating and buying homes at prices significantly lower than yours. With these details, your agent can help you select an appropriate asking priced based on the current market trends.
Using these tips and tricks will help your home stand out, and you’ll find a homebuyer and seal the deal before spring arrives!
Are you ready to list your home this fall? Contact us and we’ll match you with the right Realtor to get your home listed and sold!