It’s possible that you’ve been told by friends, family, realtors, or an article you saw online that most home sales occur in the spring and summer. While that is true, the implication is that it’s hard to sell a house during the fall or winter. In some cases, sellers even take their homes off the market during the colder months and wait for warmer weather. However, this isn’t necessary. Although it’s a less traditional time for real estate, the fall and winter months can offer a great window to sell your home. Here’s what you need to know.

The Advantages of a Fall or Winter Selling Strategy

Why sell your home in the winter? Obviously, there are people looking to buy a house from October through February, but the volume isn’t as great as the rest of the year. While this means fewer possible people to see your home, they tend to be more serious about making an offer. And since many people yank their listings during this time, you will have less competition on the market. Winter is also the time to show off your home’s ability to stand up to winter, and any cold-weather features (fireplaces, for example) will look all the more appealing. Also, with fewer total transactions happening during the winter months, the whole selling process — from loan approval to closing — will likely go much faster.

How to Make Your Home Sell This Fall or Winter

Even with all those advantages at your disposal, you have to do some hard work to ensure your home flies off the market. Here are some things you can do yourself or hire professionals to help you achieve before you list your home:

●     Focus on curb appeal. Making your yard and landscaping look great is easier in the blooming seasons but totally doable in the fall and winter. Add potted winter plants to the front door area (juniper, holly, etc.). Consider tasteful decorations — either autumnal or holiday. They make a home appear more inviting (as long as it’s not overdone). You’ll want to hire professionals to help spruce up your entire yard.

●     Make your home warm and inviting. One universal truth during winter showings is that a cold home equals cold buyers. Turn up the heat. Also, utilize festive fragrances and make sure you have some holiday decorations but, once again, don’t go crazy with it.

●     Improve your lighting. This is a good tip for showings and for when you have someone take photos of your home to list online. Brighten things up with floor lamps, wall-mounted lighting, and under-cabinet kitchen LED lighting. More than likely, you’ll want to have some help installing this should you go this route.

●     Get clutter out of the home entirely. For some reason, houses accumulate more clutter and often appear more cluttered during the fall and winter months. Cluttered homes are unattractive to potential buyers (clutter can “ruin the illusion of open space”). Shoving every excess item in the closet is fine, but a garage is better. Better yet is an off-site storage unit, which can house your stuff until you’re ready to move. Remember that buyers often look inside closets and garages to gauge storage capacity.

●     Make sure the home is safe. Get some help deicing, shoveling snow, or removing fallen, slick leaves from your porch, sidewalks, and other walkways. This is a good idea for seniors at any time, but especially when you’re trying to sell a house!

●     Consider pricing your house to sell. Don’t make the mistake of an exorbitant listing — you simply don’t have the competition during the fall and winter to justify this.

The holiday season is not known for its spike in real estate transactions, but that’s because the volume of for-sale homes drops significantly — the desire to buy doesn’t. In fact, it goes up. You should take advantage of this underutilized listing season and do what you can to make your home the prettiest property in the entire neighborhood.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Article written by Winterize Guys