With the change of seasons comes different challenges that may affect your home’s sale. The fall and winter are some of the most challenging; however, small adjustments, to both your home and your approach, can really improve your chances of selling. Here are 5 tips to for selling your home in the fall and winter:
- Turn on the lights! During the fall and winter, the northern hemisphere of the Earth is tilted away from the sun making its light hit us at a different angle. Days are shorter and often gloomier, which can really affect people’s moods, but simple tweaks can counteract that for the people who enter your home and leave a positive impression. Before each showing, turn all the lights on in the home, even if it’s daytime. The brightness will naturally lift their moods, but don’t forget to clean all your light fixtures. Dust and dirt will become more apparent and negate the impression you’re trying to leave.
- Keep your yard groomed. It’s easy to neglect your yard in the fall and winter, because growth slows and plants die back, but it’s so important to maintain the home’s curb appeal. You should continue to maintain the yard. Trim bushes, remove dead foliage, and rake leaves in the fall, as well as throughout the winter. In Southeastern North Carolina, we don’t have to worry about snow too often, but some trees, like huge oaks, will drop leaves in the fall and at the end of winter. So, you may need to keep up with that. Also, remove lawn ornaments that look out of season, and clean up exterior furniture and decorations that look weathered, like birdbaths that have a tendency to turn scummy. Without all the green of summer, details like this become more obvious and detract from the home.
- Use the season to your advantage. You know what comes with fall and winter? Lots of nice, warm smells – cinnamon and cloves, apple pie, pumpkin pie, hot chocolate, etc. These incite happy feelings, the kind you want buyers to feel in your home. Before showings, bake a pie, burn a candle, or melt fragrance wax, so the scent is still lingering when the buyers arrive.
- Shape the perfect frame of mind. Expectations can set you up for feelings of success and disappointment. Throughout the year, the real estate market sees lows and highs. During the fall and winter, sales are naturally slower due to fewer buyers. School schedules are direct contributors to this, because parents don’t like to move their kids mid-year. If you realize this before listing your home, it’ll be easier to deal with the lower number of showings, but don’t take this as your home won’t sell. We usually see more serious buyers during the fall and winter.
- Be flexible and communicate with your real estate agent. There are a good number of holidays in the fall and winter. That means family events, houseguests, etc. If you’re going to have a solid month of people visiting and won’t be allowing showings, it’s probably best to take your home off the market. If it’s just for a week, let your agent know beforehand, so buyers are given plenty of notification through the MLS and the showing center. You’d be surprised how many people want to put in an offer the week before Christmas.
The key to selling in the fall and winter is to remain positive and diligent. Time and again, we see flexible owners and maintained homes resulting in successful sales before others. Of course, every situation is different and sometimes you need some creative brainstorming. If you have any questions about selling your home in the Wilmington area, give us a call at 910-202-2546 or send us a message through our website.