One of the biggest hurddles realtors face this time of year, is how to convince your seller that there is nothing wrong with selling their home in the winter. Sure, the weathers cold, the elements could be pushing against you but , if the buyers are out there braving the elements, you can be sure they are serious about buying. Inventory in the winter drops dramatically, whether it is to not coincide with holiday festivities or just not wanting people dragging in dirt, sand and snow, but for the seller those should hold little importance compared to the fact that they have very little competition out there with other sellers. Take for example the City of Peekskill, NY. This city has a population of 24,086 , as of 2016, you would think that with those numbers in a city that there would be a lot of housing movement correct? Quite the opposite, from January thru October of 2017 there have only been 117 single family homes listed for sale and out of those only 17 went on the market last month. Being a seller, that is wonderful news but what makes it more enticing is that those that actually went to closing last month received 98.7% of their asking price.
So what can you need to do to make your home stand out from the others that are on the market this time of year?
1. PROPERTY MAINTENANCE IS STILL NEEDED:
Just because there is snow on the ground, doesn't mean that property condition is no longer important. Sure, the weeds that have been growing in your flower beds are no longer visible, but things like large icicles hanging from your gutters are. . Be sure there are clear paths to all doors and keep them well salted or sanded. You don't want the buyer worried they are going to slip and then they are uncomfortable before they even walk through the door.
2. HIGHLIGHT SEASONAL FEATURES:
If you have a fireplace, pellet stove or wood burning stove in the home consider lighting it before any showings. Let your potential buyer feel what that season will be like if they live in your home.
3. DON'T GO OVERBOARD WITH HOLIDAY DECOR:
Try not to make the holiday decorations to busy, it could overwhelm or distract the buyer from being able to use their own imagination of what they could do in the house around the holidays. Try to use a more classical approach of holiday flowers or greenery. Not only will it allow for the buyer to envision, but it could be a warm welcome if your area already has snow on the ground.
4. DEFINE PROPERTY BOARDERS:
If your property is not fenced and snow is in the forecast, consider marking the boundaries of your yard with some bright colored tape or string. This makes it easy for the buyer to clearly see what size yard they could have.
5. LOTS OF LIGHT:
If you are in the northeast,winter brings on darkness in some areas as early as 4:30, meaning that some viewings could be taking place in the dark. Leave as many lights on as possible and if you have landscape lighting, consider leaving that on as well. Sometimes buyers just like to drive by the home they are considering buying to see what it looks like on the outside though out different times of the day.
6. MAKE THE HOME WARM AND WELCOMING:
Remember, winter is a natural hibernation period so give your home all the cozy atmosphere as possible. Keep the heat to a reasonable temperature when you have a showing coming and consider cooking something with a comfort scent before the buyer arrives like, an apple pie, pumpkin butter in the crock pot, or hot chocolate.
Author:Tana McGuire Phone: 914-414-0759 Dated: December 8th 2017 Views: 503 About Tana: Leaving behind an extensive past in the hospitality business, it has enabled me to persevere through...
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J. Philip Real Estate is Westchester & Putnam's premier independent brokerage. Founded in 2005, the firm has grown from a single broker to a strong organization of well over 80 associates despite the housing downturn. The team's commitment to results and client advocacy, as well as our focus on technology and innovation, have positioned us as the "go to" brokerage for area buyers and sellers.