We all know that winter is traditionally real estate’s slowest season for a multitude of reasons – the cold weather, holidays, and school is usually in full swing… just to name a few. But what if we said it may be a little different this year? Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors, predicts “it will be one of the best winter sales years ever”. If you’re thinking of selling your home this winter, here are things to prepare for.
Regardless of the weather, people are looking online for listings. According to the NAR, 52% of buyers found the home they purchased through the internet in 2020. Make sure you are doing your due-diligence in making sure your listing is up to par. Virtual tours are a great feature to add to really get buyers interested in your home. They allow buyers to view many homes in a short span of time and get a better feel for the layout; this means that when the buyers reaches out to you, they likely have some genuine interest in purchasing. If you aren’t doing a virtual tour, be sure to take high resolution pictures and take the pictures strategically to show off all the angles of your home.
Work from home is more important
Working from home is more important than ever this year, and the trend seems to be impacting home preferences as well. As remote work grows, some Americans who once used to work in offices are in greater need of a home office space. This could lead to the latest trend in moving to the suburbs to remain even after the pandemic. Make sure to really accent your office space, if you have one. Even if you don’t have an extra room to stage as an office, try finding a space in your home where you could make a spot for a desk. If you aren’t staging your home, make sure to mention an office room or space in the description of the listing to help buyers envision themselves living and working there.
Keep it Simple with Decorations
If you are trying to sell your home around the holiday season and you’re an ardent holiday decorator, make sure the decorations are accentuating, but not overpowering. Some real estate professionals will say to forego the decorations altogether, but if your neighborhood is festive and everyone participates, you may actually be doing yourself a disservice by being one of the only houses in the dark – and that’s not very inviting. For showings, you can light the fireplace if you have one, play relaxing holiday music, and prepare fresh baked goods and serve cider and hot chocolate to guests to increase the ambiance of your home.
More Exterior Advice
When taking pictures of your home to sell, make sure to take them when there’s not a blanket of snow covering the property. Buyers may think you are hiding something like a weathered roof, cracked pathways, or a yellowed and unkempt lawn. Try to take pictures for your listing on a clear and sunny day. If avoiding the snow is not an option, clean off all pathways, driveways and brush off trees or bushes with a broom. Also keep in mind how much earlier it gets darker at this time of year; it’s a good idea to keep your home illuminated for potential buyers to look at when they drive by.