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: 437 About Tana: With an extensive past in the service industry, hard work, pressured timelines, customer service and...
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I got into real estate sales by accident in 2006. At the time, I recently earned a Bachelor's Degree in Economics from Lehman College in The Bronx. I had a very entrepreneurial mind and was ready to make my mark in the real estate world. I immediately purchased three multi-family houses in Binghamton, NY. They where fully occupied, however, the manner in which they were being run was not up to par. My brother helped me renovate several units, I let several tenants go and began renting primarily to Binghamton University students. After that, I hired a manager and was on my way.
Without question my favorite part of the business is working with first time buyers. In many cases it is much easier working with clients that have previously bought or sold, however, these transactions can lack enthusiasm. Buyers that have purchased before understand the lengthy process and usually know what's coming next. The first time buyer tends to be younger and has no idea of what to expect. They depend on my guidance and advice right through closing. They embrace challenges with a nervous yet positive outlook and every showing is an adventure. On the other hand, it's rather upsetting when a relationship builds with these clients for several months and comes to a sudden halt after a successful closing. I keep in touch of course with all of my clients but a hello every now and then is quite different than the four days a week contact over a several month period.