It’s no coincidence that the prime homebuying season, March through September, echoes children’s school schedules, James Votanek, senior sales support manager at Baird & Warner told The Chicago Tribune. Many families prefer to move after the academic year has concluded, added Votanek, who is also president of the board for the North Shore-Barrington Association of Realtors.
If school schedules are not a motivation for selling, winter can be the best time to list your home.
Some of the advantages are that serious buyers are unlikely to be deterred by snow or sleet. People willing to brave the elements need to buy and need to buy now. Since most sellers wait until spring to list, your competition is much less when you list a home in the winter.
“It’s a perfectly good time to have a house on the market,” Votanek told The Chicago Tribune. “Winter buyers tend to be more motivated.”
Some of the many benefits of selling your home during this blustery season are decreased competition from other properties on the market, and the willingness for serious buyers to purchase right away due to job transfers or family changes. The Chicago Tribune compiled a list of tips from local real estate brokers for selling during the winter season:
Price your property appropriately.
It’s imperative that listings be priced appropriately in winter, TJ Rubin, managing broker with Chicago’s Fulton Grace Realty told The Chicago Tribune. Avoid too-low prices, since bidding wars are unlikely to erupt. Too-high prices are also a turnoff to the limited pool of winter buyers, he said.
Have good lighting.
Now that it gets darker earlier, it might mean than prospective buyers will be viewing your home after dark. So it’s important to have good lighting throughout the property. Your lighting should spotlight your home’s best features. If your property has a great view, try to schedule your clients during the day.
Be aware of the weather
If it snowed the night before, make sure your driveway, walkway and/or patio is clear of snow so potential buyers don’t have to envision slipping on ice outside of the new home in winter. Make sure your exterior lights are working, and make sure your seasonal displays are inviting and current.
Cover all your bases.
“Because you are selling in winter, people might assume that you need to sell or are very motivated,” Terri McAuley, a broker with Koenig & Strey told The Chicago Tribune. “People might think they are going to get a deal.”
To prevent that perception, McAuley suggests going over the property with a fine-tooth comb, paying special attention to paint, furniture arrangement and clutter. Since windows often appear dirtier in winter, make sure to keep them clean.
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