Great Tips for Selling Your Home in the Winter
I had the honor of contributing to the article written for the East Atlanta Patch : Old Fourth Ward Living. I wanted to give Seller’s guidance for how selling in the winter can be a positive for motivated Sellers. Buyers are serious buyers during this time. Here are excerpts from the article. The full article link is above.
“For most selling a home in the winter months is an undesirable task. Top producing Intown Atlanta real estate agent Anna Kilinski shares tips on how to effectively sell a home during winter –the home buyers off season.
Don’t fret if you do not have the luxury of waiting until the spring or summer to sell your home. There may be less buyers when jack frost visits but there are also not as many sellers which means an opportunity to really set your home apart from the others. Keller Williams Realty Intown Atlanta real estate listing and buying specialist, Anna Kilinski (Anna K Intown) has tips to help even the most doubtful winter home seller get an offer or two this holiday season.” – Ashley Neal, Journalist & Blogger
Now is the time to buy
For buyers in the Atlanta real estate market this winter is an ideal time to purchase a home. The the interest rates are continuing to hover at historic lows. The current market has a lower than average amount of inventory, yet there is still strong buyer demand. In fact, many buyers are making the decision to invest in a smart purchase today instead of waiting until the spring or summer season. While November and December are considered to be slower months in terms of volume, it is important to note that seller’s will also have much less competition. Home buyers are serious about finding a new home if they are willing to house hunt at a time when most people would rather remain inside and stay warm. Do not confuse them with tire kickers.
Give Your Home a Cozy Makeover
To attract buyers during this time of year it is important to turn up the cozy factor and focus on making your house really stand out among the others on the market.
Warm it up: There is nothing worse than a house that is really cold inside during the winter. Buyers that come in and do not feel comfortable will not stay long. Consider lighting the fireplace especially if it is a gas fireplace that can be easily contained. Even if the seller does not reside in the home and the home is vacant, find a comfortable temperature on the thermostat so the buyers won’t have a chance to rush through the home and put it on the “Do Not Buy” list. This practice can also help with keeping the pipes in the home from freezing.
Keep the fall in control. With the leaves coming down like rain, it is important to make sure the yard is cleaned up every few days while on the market. For added curb appeal, also be sure that shrubs and tree-branches are not blocking walkways or entrances.
Make it festive: Treat your buyer prospects as you would a guest. Set up the dinner table with the nice place settings and decor. If you have the time bake a plate of cookies for your guests and provide hot chocolate, warm cider or even chilled bottles of water for them to enjoy. Give each room a warm touch adding winter accessories such as throws and seasonal color or themed area rugs.
Ease up on the scents: Everyone likes a home to smell good, but it is also important that the smell is natural like balsam or cedar. In the kitchen pumpkin spice, apple pie or those freshly baked cookies provide the perfect ‘home sweet home’ aroma. However, avoid using scented plug-ins and potpourri with overpowering fragrances. If the smell is too strong, potential buyers may be sensitive to the smell and may wonder what you are trying to cover up.
Keep entry ways clean and clear: During fall and winter months the weather requires that we bundle up, bringing out boots, coats, jackets, scarves and rain gear. Make sure foyers and entry ways are clear of winter attire and other accessories like umbrellas.
Outdoor usability: In the winter the outdoor spaces can be easily overlooked. Find ways to spruce up and highlight the outdoor entertaining spaces such as fire pits and outdoor fireplaces. Make sure your agent includes these wonderful features in the listing.
Decorate for the season: Twinkling lights and wreaths add a nice seasonal touch but don’t go overboard. Keep holiday decor tasteful and classy.
Turn on the lights: It gets dark earlier this time of year. Make sure exterior lights are on and interior lights offer an inviting first impression.
Reduce clutter and or hire a professional home stager: Hiring a professional home stager is not season specific it is so important it should not be overlooked it. You want your potential buyers to imagine how they could live in your house and clutter along with personal items severely take away from the emotional response. A buyer seeing your living space for the first time should be able to get a an overall feel and understanding for how they could live in your home.
Use technology to your advantage: With it getting dark much earlier it is important keep in mind that you may have buyers visiting your home in the evening after work hours. Be sure to use timers for your interior and exterior lights for evening showings.
Basic punch list for getting your home ready for sale:
- Wash windows to let in natural light
- Clean up cobwebs.
- If necessary re-caulk tubs, showers and sinks.
- Clean out the refrigerator.
- Vacuum daily.
- Wash and wax floors.
- Make sure dishes are clean and put away
- Ensure kitchen and bathroom counter tops are clutter-free and personal items are removed.
- Dust furniture, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures.
- Dust air vents with build up.
- Clean dingy grout.
- Keep trash empty.
- If you own a pet figure out your pet plan for showings. Be sure there is no pet odor.
Need assistance selling your home this winter? Let Intown real estate agent Anna Kilinski with Anna K Intown Inc and Keller Williams guide you through the process visit www.annakintown.com or http://www.realintown.com to get started.