Fall & Winter Home Selling Tips
Updated: Jan 13
It is widely known that Spring is the ideal time to sell your home. Spring is the most active time in the real estate market. When winter wanes and the days become longer buyers are eager to get out and start looking at houses. The housing market begins to cool as summer turns into fall. With our economic climate, low-interest rates, and many places seeing low inventory, the once seasonal housing market has been extended into the fall and winter months. So if you do not want to wait until Spring here are some tips for getting your home sold during the fall and winter months of the year.
Take pictures of your home in the spring and summer months. Ask your Realtor® to use these pictures in their print and digital marketing material. Take pictures of the garden beds in full bloom. Snapshots of the deck/patio furniture, pictures of pools, and outdoor living areas during warm and sunny days. Leave a photo album for potential buyers or have your Realtor® add a link in the MLS to the digital photos of the home during every season of the year.
Tidy Up The Yard
During autumn leaves and branches will fall from trees in your yard. Be sure to keep your yard free of debris that could take away your curb appeal that summer and spring offer. On days that you have scheduled showings use a leaf blower to clear the yard of fallen leaves. Keep driveways and walkways clear so as buyers approach your home they are not distracted by how much potential work they may have to do to maintain the yard. Keep the outdoor furniture in place as long as the weather permits. This will give the potential buyer an idea of how the patios, decks, and balconies are used during the spring and summer months.
Prepare for the End of Daylight Savings Time
As the days get shorter prepare for the showings in the late afternoon or evening to happen when it is dark outside. This is a great time for showings if you add exterior and landscape lighting. Consider solar lights lining the walkway or driveway. Line flower and shrub beds with outdoor lighting preferably on a timer. Invest in landscape spotlights with focal points being dominant trees or shrubs in the yard. The lights will add an ambiance to the home which done correctly can be very appealing to buyers.
Let the Sunshine In
Everyone knows this time of year it gets darker earlier and some days can seem a bit gloomy. But the sun continues to get brighter through the fall and into January when the sun is at its brightest because the Earth is closest to the sun. So let all that sunshine in while you have it. Remove the screens from the windows so the sunlight is not obstructed. Clean the windows so the views in and out are crystal clear. Let potential buyers know you will replace the screens to the windows. Keep blinds retracted and curtains wide to expose as much window as possible.
Light It Up
So every day may not be sunny and bright so be sure to add light. Choosing the right light bulbs is key to making sure your home shows well during the dog days of winter. Explore types of light bulbs that can bring the feeling of warmth into your home. Kitchens and bathrooms look amazing with daylight bulbs (5000K-6500K) while living spaces such as living rooms and bedrooms look best with soft white (2700K). You may also want to consider upgrading all the light bulbs to LED which are more energy-efficient and offer to leave them for the next buyer.
Create Clean Lines
You may want to consider removing any bulky area rugs. Hardwood floors look amazing when natural light hits them. Having an oversized area rug in the middle of the floor can take away from one of the most attractive features in your home. If it is not mounted remove the television from the main living room area. Walking into a room with a big black box as a focal point can take away from the beauty of the mantel. If you can't remove the tv have the digital slide show of the home in the spring and summer months playing during showings. Rearrange furniture to maximize functionality. Remove kitchen accessories from the countertops. Store them away neatly in the pantry this will give the buyers some idea of how much space there is for organizing. The idea here is to give the buyer unobstructed views of the entire home especially if the home has an open floor plan.
Cozy It Up
Make your home as inviting as possible. Buyers will get a sense of how it will feel inviting their friends and family to their new home. Use neutral tone throw covers and pillows in the living room. Leave a note encouraging the buyers to turn on the fireplace during their showing. Add some lightly scented unlit candles in the bathrooms. Add warmth as much as you can to be sure that when they walk inside from a cold gloomy day they feel at home.
Deck the Halls
Deck the halls, but not too much. The fall to winter season hosts some of the most important holidays. It is expected to have holiday decor in your home during this time but keep it to a minimum. Let your holiday decor highlight a wonderful feature in your home. Do you have tall vaulted ceilings? Then add a tall Christmas tree so buyers can get a sense of how tall the vaulted ceilings actually are. Resist the urge to add too many holiday scents. Choose something soft that adds just a hint of the holiday in the air. Have holiday music playing quietly in the background during showings. During the open house ask your Realtor® to serve hot chocolate and freshly baked cookies. Be delightful. Give the buyer a sense of what the holidays will feel like in the home.
This season is a wonderful time to sell. You have to be a little more creative to make your home attractive during the coldest months of the year, but there are still buyers out there looking to purchase for various reasons. Inventory in Charlotte and most metro areas across the country are experiencing low inventory which means it's as good a time as any to get your home sold!
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