Question: What time of year would you say is the best time to put your house on the market?
Answer: Houses tend to sell quicker during the springtime, specifically between March and May. It makes sense because the weather does not make you feel like a popsicle, the sun is shining, and the holiday season is finally over. Yet, despite all our plans to sell during the nicer weather, life likes to throw us a curveball every so often and we may have to list our houses during the winter.
Before you panic, 92% of the 1,100+ real estate agents who were surveyed for Homelight’s Q3 2020 survey are seeing a strong seller’s market — 82% are optimistic that the market will be okay even if we experience a recession.
If you have to put your property on the market this winter, here are five things you will want to do to have a quick sale:
1. Less Is More
When you put your house on the market, chances are you are still living in it, which means all of your stuff is still in the house. Unfortunately, potential buyers are likely to be distracted by any clutter that may be present. When they see the clutter (or a room filled with too much furniture), they are going to have a hard time seeing the space and picturing how their own stuff will fit in the room.
This is why you will want to take the time to go through your house and declutter everything — even furniture. Try to keep only the necessities in the house and put the rest in storage or donate them. The “less is more” approach is always helpful.
2. A Clean Home Is A Happy Home
It should go without saying that whenever there’s a scheduled showing for your house, you are going to make sure it is clean, right? Now if you are someone whose schedule is jam packed and you do not really have the time to make sure your house is immaculate, consider hiring a professional cleaning company to come by once every two weeks for a deep clean.
Yes, this may be costly (the average cost being $168 per visit, depending on your location and house size) but it will be worth it when all you have to do are quick touch ups.
3. Consider Renovating Some Things
It is normal to be reluctant to put money into your house when you list it, but you know what they say, you have to spend money to make money. Right now, agents say buyers are interested in homes with in-law suites (26%), ample outdoor entertaining spaces (20%) and defined rooms with doors (10%).
So, if you have a bit of money to put into your house, consider either doing the aforementioned projects or any other projects that has the best return on investment.
4. Create An Inviting Environment For Buyers
Despite it being the holiday season, winter tends to be cold, dreary and a little melancholy. These are not good feelings you want potential buyers to have when touring your home! This is your chance to create a welcoming environment that will make buyers feel like they are home.
You can do things like light the fireplace (if you have one), have something baking or simmering on the stove, and open all of the windows and turn on all of the lights to make the house feel bright and cheerful despite the grey skies outside.
Also, make sure the temperature is not too hot or too cold, otherwise buyers will not want to take their time and see everything the house has to offer — they will want to get out as quickly as possible.
5. Depersonalize Your Home
Our homes are a reflection of ourselves, right? Of course it is! BUT, when you put your house on the market, all of your personalization has to go. “Why,” you ask?
It is simple: buyers may not be able to get past the bold color accent walls. They may not appreciate the 1950’s tile work in the bathrooms that you absolutely adore. Even with the furniture, if your sofa has a busy pattern, buyers might get distracted by it, which could influence their decision. Tragic, right?
The name of the game with selling your home is to make it as neutral as possible, so that buyers can see themselves living there. We know it may be difficult to paint over the mural in the nursery, but your buyers will appreciate the clean slate.