By Geoff Ramsey, CRS, GRI
President, Greater Chattanooga Realtors
The forecast for the end of the holiday season this year looks bleak as cold air and snow move throughout much of the country. This type of weather report will likely give people more reason to stay indoors during the holidays and not venture outside for much other than to meet up with friends to watch football or kick-off a healthy new year with a visit to the gym.
The cold winter months can also keep potential home buyers and sellers out of the market until the temperatures warm up and the Spring season begins to bloom. Home sales volume is normally higher in warmer months, with 40 percent of all homes sold last year during the summer.
Yet, there still proves to be advantages to selling a home during the Winter, mainly due to inventory shortages and motivated buyers often willing to pay a higher price. Selling your home during these colder months can pay off, but keep in mind, preparation is still needed for your home to stand out to potential buyers.
According to the National Association of Realtor’s® 2017 Profile of Home Staging, nearly 80 percent of buyers’ agents said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home. For homeowners interested in selling their home this winter, here are some typical listing and staging tips to keep in mind.
Festive Decor. With the festive, holiday season wrapping up, it is important for potential buyers to imagine themselves enjoying this time of year in your home. It is a good idea to decorate for the season when opening your doors for interested buyers, but don’t go too over-the-top. When hosting an open house, consider lighting the fireplace, festively decorating or hanging lights to showcase the season’s vibe to which buyers can relate.
Also, ensure your home is kept at warm temperature so potential buyers are comfortable when they walk inside from the cold.
Don’t invite Jack Frost. Alongside adding holiday decorations to the exterior of your home, make sure to shovel your driveway and sidewalks and clear snow off any decks or patios. Potential buyers should be able to easily access your home without the danger of slipping on ice or tracking in snow. Also, remove any icicles or built-up snow from your roof, so that your home looks clean and ensure your “for sale” sign is easily visible in your front yard.
Work with a Realtor. Be sure to work with a Realtor, a member of the National Association of Realtors®, who can share more tips for listing your home this holiday season.