If you’ve either had your house on the market for several months, or have recently listed it, you are probably wondering what to expect as our days get shorter and you realize that snow will soon be a factor in how your home shows to potential buyers, especially if you’ve put a lot of work into your landscaping. Its no secret that many buyers prefer not to look at homes when it’s dark and only 10 degrees outside, and showings will decline, but take comfort in the fact that your competition is also going away as some people pull their listings and wait until spring to relist.
Many buyers plan to buy regardless of weather or seasons, and do! This is especially true for relocation buyers which we have a lot of in the Minneapolis/St.Paul area. For years sellers and agents alike have decided not to list in the winter because as mentioned, days are shorter and people are just plain busy this time of year. People go out of town for Thanksgiving, grandmas house for Christmas, and often times even take vacations around the 1st of the year. However! today’s buyers are drastically different from buyers even ten years ago. The National Association of Realtors claim 9 out of 10 buyers shop online for their next home, I’ve as high as 95%, and this number continues to climb. Many of todays buyers are browsing websites while out of town, checking out the latest listings from their handheld device, and cruising neighborhoods in their spare time even before opening a door! If you’re peeking in on today’s real estate market at all you know the urgency to make something happen before rates go up, because they will! While some sellers and buyers may take the winter off, the motivated ones are not.
So, if you’re still in the game as a seller what do you do differently? In previous blogs I’ve mentioned the importance of staging, this could never be more true than it is in the fall/winter months. Sunlight and natural features, such as the landscaping you’ve worked so hard on, are either non existant or are much more limited this time of year so the rest of your home needs to SHINE SHINE SHINE! Color is always important but more so now. Put those pumpkins outside in October and November, and don’t skimp on Christmas lights this year (don’t be a Clark Griswold either!). Click this link to review other Important Staging Ideas.
If you’re a buyer who plans on finding your next home before rates go up you will be glad to have less competition from other buyers as you did this summer. Far too many buyers this spring and summer learned what it was like to find “the right one” only to loose it at the hand of another buyer in a multiple offer. This will instantly take the enjoyment out of home shopping for anyone. Well, now you can get out and open some doors without the pressure of being part of what felt like a feeding frenzy. That being said, the best homes are still moving somewhat fast so if you don’t have a local listing app on your phone, download one here. Don’t miss out because you’re waiting for a listing agent to get back to you!
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