Traditional wisdom of real estate has it that spring and summer are the best time to list your home, but winter selling has some advantages that many people don’t know. There is less competition, and usually consumers are more committed and more motivated. Although the number of homes for sale nationally usually decreases in November and December by about 15 percent, sales themselves remain fairly steady. Yet to get into the winter-selling perks, you have to be more savvy and violent, as well as vigilant in some respects in colder climes. There are 5 things to watch out for in colder climates like Safety Harbor when selling.
1. Pricing for the Off-Season
If you don’t change your pricing strategy, you may be leaving money for winter sales on the table, particularly people who sell in colder climates like Safety Harbor. There are fewer homes for sale as we just described and buyers are often more inspired. So you’d probably have to price slightly higher, or at least test the waters at a higher price and see how it’s going.
There are a few reasons why consumers are more cautious and inspired. “Work changes also take place around the holidays when employers get ready for a new year, and families want to get their children settled before a new semester begins.” The local real estate agent will help you work out the best cold-climatic pricing strategy.
2. Leveraging the Internet
Internet knows no difference between winter and summer, warm climates and cold climates. That’s why almost all home buyers (93 per cent) look for homes online regardless of the season or temperature. And that is something people should take advantage of when selling in colder climates like Safety Harbor.
Because serious buyers are always online search for homes, you need to make sure that your online listings are the best they can be, especially when it comes to photo listing. “Buyers are going to try to minimize winter travel time and look first online. Professional photos with proper lighting are necessary.” You should also strive to include images that “show the landscaping of your home in other seasons.” Your agent will help you create a top-notch listing that is convincing even for selling in colder climates.
3. Doing What It Takes to Attract Buyers
One thing that people selling in colder climates like Safety Harbor need to look out for is to make sure they do everything they need to attract buyers and keep them around for some time. It involves, the pros point out, looking at certain staging problems and highlighting certain points of sale, such as:
- Using sensible seasonal decoration – You should decorate your home warm and inviting in line with the particular holiday season, but don’t overdo it. You want to “create an environment where buyers can be seen celebrating themselves.”
- Have plenty of lighting–”It is important to have plenty of exterior and interior lights when showing your home at dusk or later.” This means “placing higher wattage light bulbs which provide warm but not harsh light. Not every light has to be on but in every room you should have at least one lamp.
- Making your home cozy – Begin by de-cluttering and cleaning, and then use soft blankets and extra pillows to work on coziness and light the fireplace.
- Showcasing energy efficiency-For buyers in colder climates, energy efficiency will be particularly important. So go ahead and point out all the advancements in energy-efficiency, such as the triple-pane windows and additional insulation in the attic. And don’t be shy about giving evidence of your low utility bills.
4. Pushing for a Sale Before Year’s End
One important deadline people should watch out for selling in colder climates like Safety Harbor is the end of the year. Buyers making their home purchase before the end of the year will be able to enjoy those tax benefits, which will become even more important as utility bills are on the increase. So don’t hesitate to draw on the incentive of many buyers to close before January 1.
Home buyers can write off typical home-purchase expenses including mortgage interest, private mortgage insurance (PMI), and property taxes–all of which provide an incentive for a buyer to close before the new year. And added bonus is that if you intend to buy a new home in addition to selling your current home, you can also benefit from these tax benefits if you beat the end of the year.
5. Using an Agent
As we described above, there are several areas of sale in colder climates like Safety Harbor where a good real estate agent can be an invaluable asset. Further market problems face colder weather and colder climates–there’s just no way around it. And sellers who choose not to use an agent do take a real risk.