The warmer months are typically the most popular times to sell a home, but it doesn’t mean the housing market has to hibernate in the colder seasons. While it’s true that more houses are up for sale in the spring and summer months, and more buyers come out of the woodwork, fall or winter could be ideal times to sell your house.
Here’s why you should consider putting your house on the market this fall or winter:
The slow season means less competition. Sure, there are fewer buyers, but there are also fewer homes competing for the sale.
Only serious buyers come out during the winter, so you won’t have many window shoppers.
Houses sell faster in the winter because there are fewer sales being processed.
Job relocations typically happen during the first quarter, so if you live near corporate headquarters, you can take advantage of the influx of transplants.
Off-season doesn’t necessarily mean discount season. You don’t need to price the house lower just because you’re listing during a less-popular time. Research home prices and trends in your neighborhood to find the best price to list it. Keep in mind that prices will vary depending on location; in the last month, the average sale price for homes in Golden, Colorado, was $510,000.
Make Your House Shine
Since it’s holiday season, why not make the house stand out in this drab weather? You can add curb appeal with some inexpensive DIY projects, such as autumn-themed wreaths, seasonal plants, and decorative pedestals.
As it gets closer to the winter holidays, the absence of foliage and color outside can be counteracted with bright and cheery holiday décor. Add some tasteful lights, a welcome doormat, and a wreath on the door. Avoid over-the-top decorations and flair, as it can turn off buyers that aren’t into the holiday spirit. Decorate just enough to make your home look colorful and inviting against the winter gloom, but not so much that it creates a distraction.
Great lighting inside and outside the house can make your home more appealing. Brighten up your home with ample lights on the driveway and over doorways. It makes the home feel warmer, and it’s safer for visitors coming by at night. Interior lighting matters too, especially since winter’s early sunsets usually mean you can’t rely on natural light to brighten up the place during evening viewings. You can add hanging pendant lights for a lamp-lit glow in the bedroom, floor lamps and wall-mounted lights in the living room, and cabinet strip lighting in the kitchen.
Stage Your Home
There are many things you can do to stage your home for listing photos and viewings. To keep the outside clean and attractive, paint the front door for an added splash of color and trim the trees to let natural light in through the windows. You can create the illusion of space inside by removing most of your belongings, moving furniture away from the walls and corners, painting walls and cabinets, and reupholstering the fabrics. If you have the money and time, consider replacing the flooring, too.
Host a Welcoming Open House
When it’s snowing, the most important thing to do before an open house or viewing is to shovel the snow on the driveway and sidewalk. Not only does a shoveled home look tidier, but it’s also safer for people walking up to your door. Winter can make a house feel cold and dark. To make your place feel open and well lit, turn on all lights and keep the thermostat at a comfortably warm temperature. Consider making it extra cozy and inviting by lighting the fireplace, if you have one. Since hospitality matters, serve delicious seasonal treats like hot cocoa with candy cane sticks, warm apple cider with cinnamon sticks, salted caramels, pumpkin flavored treats, and molasses cookies.
Be one of the outliers in the housing market by listing your home off-season. You’ll get to have fun decorating, and you won’t have to worry about maintaining a lush garden out front. Just remember to be flexible with your viewing hours after dark. There’s a higher likelihood that an evening visitor will become your home’s new owner.
Suzie Wilson is an interior designer with more than 20 years experience. What started as a hobby (and often, a favor to friends) turned into a passion for creating soothing spaces in homes of every size and style. While her goal always includes making homes look beautiful, her true focus is on fashioning them into serene, stress-free environments that inspire tranquility in all who enter. The Ultimate Guide to Prepping Your Home for an Open House is filled with tips, tricks and other advice based on Suzie’s years of experience in interior home design that will set you up for success.
Photo Credit: Pexels