How to get your house sold in the fall or winter is very difficult for most people to grasp . Why? Because we’ve been told to ‘sell you house in the spring’ when you have green grass and flowers. Most people are not aware that selling a home in the fall or winter can often be to their advantage. Today’s real estate market is very competitive. As a first-time home seller chances are, you’ll find the whole process riddled with a lot of confusion. With economists predicting a major decrease in home sales, and its been down across the country, it’s important that you prepare yourself to avoid any and all potential pitfalls. If you are not caught up with the market, now might be a good time to seek the expert advice of a Realtor. Allowing you to equip yourself with knowledge of the do’s and don’ts of selling a home for the first time.
Here are a few important tips to help you get through process the successfully.
- Prepare your Home for the Market
In the fall, the leaves hare turning and are falling or are completely gone – depending where you live in the U.S. So, is fall or winter a good time to sell my home? Yes it is. Why, because this is the pool of buyers who are really serious about moving. Think about it, only those who are determined to buy a new home are looking over the holidays, so its a great time to put your house on the market. Most importantly, buyers are usually ‘booked’, back to back with appointments on newly listed homes. While, those that have been on the market since the early spring are now stale and everyone has seen them.
Getting some great shots now in the waning days of summer will make your online photos pop during the fall months.
Buyers will be able to see what your home looks like with the leaves on the trees and flowers in the garden (not a brown lawn and twiggy trees). Home buyers who are looking online will gravitate toward your home’s images with a lush lawn in all its glorious summer color!
Be sure to make a few 8X10 photos of anything special, to leave on the table for fall buyers to see your; pool, flowering gardens, stone walkways …
Staging your home now for fall buyers
As the fall and winter days grow shorter, it gets harder to stage a home in natural light. Especially in the evenings. With your home interior appearing darker, it’s a good idea to beef up the interior lighting, keep the curtains open and leave as many lights on as possible.
Curb appeal always matters
Probably the most challenging aspect of a fall home sale is keeping the yard clean. Rake the leaves on a regular basis and tidy up the landscaping consistently during the showing period. Consider planting some fall flowers like orange or yellow mums.
When winter is here…
Many people moving from warmer climates, have no idea about what a winter is really like. They have concerns over not being able to get around due to the snow and other issues. Make a point of putting out some photos that will get them thinking – ‘Oh, this looks like it could be fun!’
When I take a listing in the fall or winter, I make a few suggestions to the sellers, to make their home stand out above all the rest. Make sure to get some professional photographs of the outside when there has been a ‘fresh fallen snow’ . This will give the buyer a a better idea of how lovely it really is.
Remember, you only need one buyer. As you approach the holidays, staging is very important If you decorate one of your larger rooms to look like a great ‘entertainment area’, it will put all kinds of ideas in the buyers minds. Make sure you always have all the lights on for a showing. Most importantly, light that fire! A big roaring fire is always considered to be at the top of the list to show buyer how warm and inviting a winter home can really be.
Choosing your real estate agent
As a seller, you need to understand the importance of having a professional real estate agent to represent you during the sale of your home. There are hundreds of agents out there and therefore it’s crucial that you choose one with considerable experience in the home-selling process.
While you can easily get an agent based on referrals from your friends and family, it’s important to widen your search scope to ensure that you end up with an expert in the field. Consider checking with your local brokerages and agencies. Here are some questions you should ask the agent you are interviewing; are you full or part-time, what does your website look like, how experienced at marketing are you, what would be the marketing plan for my home, do you expose my property to additional marketing thru social media?
Watch out for agents who arrive with a prepared written presentation. One that they go page by page through with you, (like a script). Maybe they need it to remember all the points they should be able to cover. Hopefully you can find one who can openly discuss the value of your home and the neighborhood. You don’t want someone who has to consistently go back to the ‘script’ to answer your questions.
After finding the right agent for you and your needs, you will be required to sign an agreement with the agent and pay a commission. And because the contract binds you to the agent for a period of three to six months, it’s important that you have only the best
The Real-estate Agent you Choose matters
While it’s of vital importance that you choose an agent with a good presence and base of knowledge, remember that you will only be dealing with the specific agent, not the company they represent. Real-estate agents are simply independent contractors who opt to hang their license with a brokerage firm whose culture and brand match their business. A good agent will work with you to deliver great results no matter what brokerage they are involved with.
Correct Pricing is Important
Price is an important consideration for potential buyers. If you have made some major improvements but your home still isn’t selling, then you need to consider lowering the price. To help you come up with the correct price for your home, perform a comparative market analysis by viewing the prices of homes similar to yours that are on sale and also check the past home sales. This way, you will be able to determine the most accurate price for your home. Here are a few Mistakes Home Sellers Make .
Act Immediately you Get an Offer
Do not wait until you get the ‘perfect’ offer in order to close. As soon as you get an acceptable deal, go ahead and sign on the dotted line without wasting time. In other words, don’t lose a good selling opportunity in the hope that something grander will come along.
Considering the physical and emotional stress that comes with home selling, it’s crucial that you are prepared to ensure a successful sale.
Wendy Weir Relocation – Real Estate Agent, Relocation Specialist, Birmingham, MI
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