This time of year, it would be easy to assume people are more concerned with finding the perfect gift than finding the perfect home. But, while winter time may be the “off season” for home sales, it doesn’t mean you need to freeze your listing until the temperatures rise again.
“Yes, there are fewer people looking to buy. But those buyers are often more serious that the casual person out looking at homes on a nice spring or summer weekend,” says Woods Bros REALTOR® Joanne McCoy. “Those serious buyers will need to find something, and if your home is one of only a few for them to consider then it can perhaps result in a better negotiation for you.”
If you’re looking to make a move this winter, here are a few mistakes to avoid…
Don’t go overboard with holiday spirit
If you are looking to sell you home between November and December, you may want to keep the bulk of your usual holiday decorations in storage this year. Not only can these add clutter to the home that isn’t conducive to staging, but prospective home buyers also like to envision themselves in the space and the extra decor can be overkill.
Don’t get lazy with your walkways
Woods Bros REALTOR® Bruce Hahn says the biggest winter-time mistake he sees home sellers make is failing to keep their driveways, sidewalks and porches clear of snow and ice. Although this maintenance may be a big undertaking here in Nebraska, it’s worth it if you hope to move before everything thaws.
“If a potential buyer is going to make an effort to view a home in the winter, they shouldn’t have to try and navigate a snowy and slippery drive and sidewalk in order to reach your home safely,” Hahn says.
Don’t price your home too high
With fewer buyers in the market, it’s especially imperative to price your home right from the get-go. According to a 2018 report from Trulia, nearly 1-in-5 houses for sale nationally underwent one price cut—which can be a foreboding sign for some buyers as they immediately suspect something is “wrong” with the home.
Don’t make it seem any darker and colder than necessary
Good homes offer the promise of warmth and comfort in the wintertime—so now isn’t the time to save on utility costs by keeping the thermostat down and lights off. Says Hahn, “Make sure window coverings are open, all the lights are on to create a warm and inviting atmosphere to a potential home buyer.”