Is your home on the market or are you thinking of selling this winter? It is actually a wonderful time to offer your home for sale. Interest rates are low as is the inventory. Late November and December brings buyers who love to see cozy, warm homes that are decorated for the season. Less homes on the market means less competition for you and you will find that serious buyers are out right now. Job changes often occur in the first quarter of the year so buyers will look in December anticipating a closing in January or February. Young families may yearn to move back "home" to be closer to grandparents. Their home in another area may have just sold so they are now here looking to purchase quickly. Finally, there are the relocation buyers. A job in this area means a home purchase for them.
What can you do to make your home stand out from the competition? Pricing and condition are the most important things. Now is not the time to "test" the market with your price. I am not convinced there is ever a time to "test" the market. If you want it sold quickly, price it right from the start. If it is not selling, reduce the price. Secondly, it needs to show well. It gets dark early now and buyers like to view a home after work and on the weekends. If your home is vacant, keep it warm. Saving a few dollars on heat is not the answer. If your home is cold, a buyer and an agent will be in and out quickly. Leave lights on and make your home inviting and appealing. Open blinds and shades. Check for odors and dampness. Is the walkway clear of debris and is the house easily seen from the road? Is your home clean with beds made, dishes put away and cat litter boxes and dog bowls moved to the garage?
Have you asked buyers to remove their shoes or left out some "booties" for them to slip over boots and shoes to keep your carpets clean? Are all appliances recently cleaned and checked to see that they are in good working condition? Have you looked to see that there are no cobwebs and has your furnace recently been serviced?
Think of yourself and your realtor as a team. Your realtor is the professional. You should turn to him or her for advice just as you seek out your dentist, lawyer or financial consultant. Asking a neighbor, friend or co-worker how to sell your home is a very bad idea. Their interest is not your best interest. Remain positive and act on the suggestions of the realtor. Feedback from showings gives you insight as to how a buyer or agent views your home. Often when sellers change realtors two or three times and then are asked for an honest answer, they admit they should have listened to their first realtor about price, price reductions, incentives or improvements.
Although it may be difficult to hear, think of it this way. Many of you shop whether it be for a coat or a car. If the product is not moving, the store reduces the price. The store or dealership cannot afford to carry the inventory. How much is it costing you per month if your home does not sell? If you have a lovely home, it will sell. You just have to price it right. If you home needs some fresh paint or perhaps some new carpeting, do it now before you put it on the market!