It's been said that spring and early summer are the best times to sell your home. Competition among buyers can be fierce during these warm months and for whatever reason, the data has consistently shown that homes sell for more in spring and early summer. Maybe there's something psychological to warm weather that entices buyers or maybe it has something to do with the fact that families want to settle in before the school year starts in the fall.
Either way, it's not always possible to choose when to put your home on the market, especially in a complex market such as Boston. But while spring might be the busiest time of the year for real estate transactions, homes get bought and sold every season of the year. Here are some tips of the trade for selling your home in the off-season winter months.
Staging for Snow: In many parts of the country it gets cold and snowy during the winter. In Boston, climate is essential since snow is prevalent. This said, make sure that you stage the outside of your home accordingly. Shovel the driveways and be sure to clear ice away from walkways and doors. Buyers want to feel safe and comfortable when they're looking around. This also applies to multi-family homes, as well as converted and condo'ed out units.
Just because your grass is brown or your house is covered in snow doesn't mean you can't stage it successfully. Try to highlight the house with tasteful winter-themed decorations that are aesthetically-pleasing. Houses for sale in the winter tend to show especially well when they're decorated. If the holidays have passed, make sure to also take away those decors, since it'll seem like you're stuck in time. Instead, replace holiday decorations with neutral winter-themed items.
Remember than the purpose of putting up these decorations is to create a warm feeling for buyers. It might even help your house seem more attractive than it would be in the warmer months. Make sure that you choose tastefully, though, ones that will appeal to a wide variety of buyers.
Leave the Lights On: Once daylight saving time ends, it can get dark pretty early. Consider putting your outdoor lights on a timer. That way, when prospective buyers show up, the house will look bright and cheery instead of dark and dreary.
You can apply the same idea to the inside of your house too. Make sure that the heat is on before buyers arrive and that the place is clean, smells fresh and is warm. Just like with your last job interview, first impressions are everything. This is doubly so for real estate, so you really want to "wow" buyers when they pull up to your house and walk inside.
Stand Out From the Competition: During the winter and cold months, there may not be as many buyers but there also aren't as many sellers. Often times, off-season buyers need to move quickly, whether due to job relocation or major life changes, so be ready for them.
In order to make your property stand out, consider adding a video to your listing or creating a small website to showcase your home. Sometimes freebies don't hurt either. If you know there's going to be someone touring the place, it won't hurt to leave out treats for them to enjoy whilst going around your property. Remember that you want to stand out and be remembered in the end. The average buyer looks at 4 properties before they make a final decision. So it'll be good for you when you've made an excellent impression since you'll likely to stump out the competition, as long as the property meets the buyer's wish list. In fact, with the market right now, you can even end up getting more for your property if you're willing to go that extra mile.