The common belief among home sellers is that the best time to sell your home is in the spring and summer. That may be true in housing markets that are impacted by the weather but homes in the Charlotte area sell throughout the year – regardless of the season. Additionally, the lack of housing competition in the fall and winter makes it one of the best times to sell your home. Here are a few tips to get maximum impact during the fall and winter seasons.
1. Refresh the Outside of the Home
The exterior of your home is the first impression that a buyer spots when they either view the home online or is looking at the home in person. Therefore, take the opportunity to make a great first impression with a new buyer by ensuring the front exterior of the home is the best it can be. Areas of note:
- Pressure wash the exterior of the home to remove any mildew that may be forming on the siding and concrete. Often times, buyers mistake a dirty exterior soffit as one that needs to be replaced when the paint is dirty.
- Repaint or stain the front door.
- Replace worn or weathered front door hardware.
- Install a new front door mat
2. Take the Best Exterior Pictures You Can
Photographing the exterior of a home in the late fall and winter can present as many challenges as opportunities. First off, always choose a bright sunny day. This can be a challenge during long periods of rain and foul weather but the result is definitely worth the wait. Avoid taking exterior pictures on the one day that it happened to snow as it is a clear indication to a buyer of when the home was listed for sale.
Next, having a tree without foliage isn’t as big of a concern as you might think. One benefit to shooting a home with this scenario is that you’re able to capture a picture of the whole exterior of the house, not just the portion obscured by a large leafy tree.
Finally, if you’re planning to list your home for sale in December or January, it’s a good idea to take at least a few exterior pictures during the early fall to supplement others taken in the dead of winter. That way, you can show off your landscape in rich fall colors that will have likely faded by the time your home is on the market.
3. Avoid the Holiday Decorations
There’s nothing more obvious clue as to when a house was listed for sale than seeing a large pumpkin in the front or a Christmas tree in the corner of the living room. If your home will be on the market during the holidays, consider minimally decorating the home or having the decorations up for a truncated period of time. When you’re selling the attributes of a home, the emphasis is on space, flow, and design; which become compromised as furniture is rearranged to accommodate lots of decorations. Consider tasteful decorations on the exterior of the home, as they can emphasize the home’s curb appeal. Resist at all costs the urge to decorate your home like Clark Griswold in Christmas Vacation.
4. Lights, Lights and More Lights
Since the days are shorter in the fall and winter, it is likely that you will have a showing of your home at dusk or complete night…which could be 6pm. If you are able, leave your window blinds open during the day to show off the benefits of your home. Next, turn on the interior lights before every showing – at least one in every room. This may seem wasteful but there’s nothing more uninviting than walking into a dark house, fumbling around looking for light switches with a client in tow. The exterior should be well lit as well so replace any burned out or missing light bulbs around the home.