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Are you thinking of selling your home?
Are you a real estate agent and have a long list of homes to sell during the coldest season of the year?
Do you think that houses can only be sold at a top dollar during the spring and summer?
If you answered “YES” to these questions, many people and Realtors would tell you that you should wait to put a for sale sign up, but not us.
Selling a house in the middle of winter when there are low temperatures is possible if you can avoid making common winter home selling mistakes!
It is true that a house, especially if a home has beautiful gardens and curb appeal that it looks much better during the hottest months of the year when the vegetation and the sun make everything look much nicer, but doesn’t mean that you should wait to sell your home during the winter.
One concern that many home owners have when selling their home during the winter is that they’re going to have to sell their home for less because of the time of the year. This is simply not the case and the most important thing to keep in mind to avoid this, apart from all the common winter home selling mistakes that we will explain below, is that you make a real effort and that you believe in the property you are trying to sell, it WILL sell!
In order to help you sell a house during the winter and to ensure that you don’t make the mistakes that many first time home sellers commonly make, below are a the biggest winter home selling mistakes that must be avoided in order to sell a house in the middle of the winter and while the temps are frigid!
It’s the middle of winter and the weather forecast predicts that the next few weeks will be persistently snowy and that temperatures will touch historic lows while you continue to try to sell your house.
What should you do?
Be certain that you clean up the snow as good as you can!
By cleaning all the snow, we know that you obviously cannot make all of the snow disappear, however, a common winter home selling mistake is not cleaning up the snow good enough!
This means that you should clean all the excess snow that has accumulated at the entrance of your house and the entrance of your garage. This ensures that not only you can safely enter your home and garage, but also makes sure that prospective home buyers and their agents can safely navigate on your property and into your home!
What’s the next big winter home selling mistake that many sellers make?
Not making sure your windows are squeaky clean is a common error made by home owners who’re selling their home during the winter months!
While selling a home during the summer, it’s certainly still important to have clean and clear windows, however it tends to be much brighter during the summer months.
During the cold and dreary winter season, it often feels dark and gloomy which can make your home seem dark and gloomy as well, if you don’t have clean windows!
One home buying trend of millennial home buyers especially is finding homes that have lots of natural light. Home buyers want to buy a home that feels light, airy, and open so having very clean windows can help create this feeling for prospective buyers!
Another very common winter home selling mistake made by home owners, and their Realtors, is not having up to date photographs of the property!
It’s true that during the warmer months most homes look more attractive, but don’t you think that if buyers are looking for a house in January and see a photo of the home and the grass is bright green and flowers are blooming, they won’t be suspicious? Of course!
The best thing is to make sure the photos of your home show the most current state of the house. Many buyers could see this as a red flag and potentially may pass on viewing your home because they think something is wrong with your home.
If you would like to showcase your beautiful landscaping or outdoor patio, that is certainly fine to include those photographs in the listing, but it’s important to have current photos as well, even if this means several feet of snow in the photo!
If you’re unsure about the type of photographs that should be taken to showcase your home or how to prepare for your home for a real estate photo shoot, you should discuss this with your agent. They’ll be able to ensure that you’re showcasing your home in the best way possible through current and attractive photos!
Selling a home during the winter months, especially selling a home during the holidays, requires a lot of flexibility.
Envision that it is December, two days before Christmas and you have the house ready for a big family Christmas party when suddenly you get a showing request from a prospective buyer who wants to see your house.
What should you do?
Absolutely allow the buyers to view your home and accommodate their request! Not being accommodating to prospective buyers is a huge winter home selling mistake.
If you deny a buyer access to your home because the time isn’t convenient, you may end up not having the opportunity to have that buyer see your home as they might find a different home where the owners are accommodating.
Yes, the winter months and holiday season often brings many plans and people like to enjoy the holidays in the company of friends and family, but if you really want to sell the house and achieve top dollar for your home, you’ll have to prioritize showings. Not doing so can cost your thousands of dollars!
One of the biggest tips we provide to our home sellers when selling a home during the winter months is to ensure they make their home feel cozy to prospective buyers!
This can be accomplished by simply keeping the temperature of your home higher when there are prospective buyers touring your home.
Keeping your heat too low is a big winter home selling mistake, but another mistake is not having any lights on during showings, which can make your home feel “cold.”
An important task when preparing for home showings is to turn all of your lights on. This doesn’t necessarily impact the temperature of your home, but can definitely make your home feel “warmer” and more inviting.
Don’t make your home feel “cold” when selling it just to save a couple dollars on your utility bills!
It doesn’t matter the time of year that you’re selling a home, hiring a top agent is vital to achieving top dollar for your home!
Another common winter home selling mistake is not hiring a top real estate professional. The winter home selling season is typically a bit slower than the spring and summer markets so it’s critical that your agent knows how to properly market a home for sale.
How can you be sure that you’re hiring a top real estate professional?
There are dozens of important questions to ask real estate agents when selling a home that can help improve the odds that you’re hiring a qualified agent. Here are some of the questions and topics to consider asking;
These are just questions to ask real estate agents when selling a home and remember, not hiring a top real estate agent can be extremely costly.
Incorrectly pricing your home can cost you thousands of dollars and lots of unnecessary stress and anxiety. When pricing your home for a winter home sale, pricing becomes even more important as the time on market is typically a bit longer during the winter months.
Why is pricing your home incorrectly such a big winter home selling mistake?
The longer your home sits on the market will result in prospective buyers beginning to wonder what is wrong with your home, which often results in low ball offers.
Pricing your home correctly from the beginning, especially in a strong sellers market, will often result in higher sale prices than if you price your home too high to leave room for negotiations, which is a common thought process for many sellers.
As mentioned above, having a top real estate agent to help with the sale of your home will help eliminate the chances that you price your home incorrectly. While the ultimate decision of the price of your home is up to you, most top real estate agents will not market a listing that they don’t believe is priced properly.
Selling your home during the winter months is NOT impossible.
In fact, selling a home during the winter months can actually have advantages, such as you’ll likely have less competition from other home owners as the number of homes for sale during the winter is often lower than the spring and summer!
If you’re going to be selling a home during the winter, be sure that you avoid the above winter home selling mistakes, as they can derail your sale and cost you lots of money and headaches along the way.
About the author: The above article on “Top Winter Home Selling Mistakes | 7 Errors Made While Selling A House During The Winter” was written by Kyle Hiscock, a Top Realtor in Webster NY with RE/MAX Realty Group.
Since being launched in 2013, Kyle has published more than 150 quality, in-depth, and unique real estate related articles on the Rochester Real Estate Blog pertaining to topics varying from home selling to mortgages and everything in between! In addition to quality real estate related content, there are also many quality articles pertaining to the Greater Rochester NY area.
The Rochester Real Estate Blog has been recognized by many reputable websites as one of the best real estate blogs to visit and follow! In addition to being recognized as one of the best real estate blogs, Kyle has been recognized as one of the top Realtors on social media by several organizations and websites.
About Rochester’s Real Estate Blog: Rochester’s Real Estate Blog is owned and operated by Kyle Hiscock of the Hiscock Sold Team at RE/MAX Realty Group. With over 40 years combined experience, if you’re thinking of selling or buying, we’d love to share our knowledge and expertise.
We service the following Greater Rochester NY areas: Irondequoit, Webster, Penfield, Pittsford, Fairport, Brighton, Greece, Gates, Hilton, Brockport, Mendon, Henrietta, Perinton, Churchville, Scottsville, East Rochester, Rush, Honeoye Falls, Chili, and Victor NY.
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