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Selling a House During Winter: How It's Done

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Selling a House During Winter Months

Lucky To Live Here Realty

For the love of Real Estate, local businesses and communities of Long Island's North Shore and beyond...

For the love of Real Estate, local businesses and communities of Long Island's North Shore and beyond...

Nov 4 6 minutes read

Winter home sales are becoming more common, as home sales increase across all seasons.

While it can be a challenge to sell during the holiday season, with some helpful strategies, expert tips, and creative marketing, you can find a great buyer for your home any time of year — even in the winter.   

❄️The truth about selling a house during the holidays

When we talk about winter, we’re talking about roughly December 1 to February 28, which includes all the major winter holidays, plus Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Valentine’s Day, and Presidents Day. This period of time is marked by not-so-great weather, holiday travel, and time spent with family.

❄️What it’s like to sell in the winter

Over the past few years, winter home sales have increased and days on the market have decreased, but not necessarily because more people are buying in the winter. The more plausible explanation is that the housing market has been increasing in general, so there are more buyers for every season of the year.

❄️Who’s buying in the winter?

Simply put: All kinds of buyers shop in all seasons. It’s a common misconception that most home buyers have school-aged children, and that they only shop for homes during summer vacation. In fact, according to Zillow research, more than half of buyers don’t have kids under 18 at home, so they’re not limited by school schedules.

❄️Benefits of selling a house in the winter

  • Motivated buyers: The buyers actively shopping for a new home in the winter are likely very motivated — often moving because of a job relocation, change in financial situation, or change in family needs.
  • Less seller competition: With fewer homes on the market in winter, there’s less competition from other sellers, and a limited inventory for buyers.
  • More time off work: People tend to take time off work during the winter, and three-day weekends like MLK Day and Presidents Day can be popular home shopping days. As a seller, it also means more options for showings and open houses!
  • More attention from agents: When agents have fewer listings, sellers receive more of their undivided attention. The same goes for buyers’ agents — they have more time to arrange showings and negotiate deals.
  • Tax benefits: Buyers looking to purchase homes before the end of the year for tax purposes find December listings ideal.

3 Holiday selling tips

Invest in professional photography
Check out our photography here

Quality real estate photos are everything, and making a home’s interior seem light and bright during the winter takes a professional. And, when selecting a photo of a home’s exterior, consider one of the tried-and-true tricks to selling a house: Use a picture from the previous spring or summer.

Hire the right agent
Us 😉

When interviewing agents, make sure to ask about their experience with selling in the winter or in slow markets. Find out how they plan to market the home when there is a limited pool of buyers.

Price to sell (We have a proven track record in receiving multiple over asking offers when priced competitively.)
Contact us to learn how 

A well-priced home can sell quickly no matter the season. Using recently sold comparables from the neighborhood, have your agent help you price the home to attract the biggest pool of potential buyers.

Staging tips for selling a home during the holidays

⛄️Keep decorations simple

There’s something about the holiday season that makes a house feel like home. But when selling, less is more, so avoid excessive Christmas decorations. Aim for tasteful holiday decorations like a small tree in one corner, a few wrapped gifts underneath (consider wrapping empty boxes in case of package thieves!), a nice wreath on the front door, or an understated pine cone centerpiece.

🍪Bake cookies

Baking cookies before an open house is a classic real estate technique, but it works especially well when selling at Christmas. Invite potential buyers in with the scent, and keep them exploring the home with a tasty treat.

🧣Make it cozy

Winter is the perfect time to emphasize cozy features. Turn the fireplace on, decorate with warm colors, and add a few throw blankets around the home.

🥾Add some (winter) curb appeal

When selling property in winter, curb appeal takes on a different look. Shovel snow, offer umbrellas, illuminate pathways, and make sure there’s a doormat for visitors to wipe their wet feet.

💡Turn the lights on

Daylight hours are limited during winter months, so maximize light whenever possible. Install higher wattage light bulbs and turn on additional lights, both to make a home’s interior look its best, and to create a warm glow from the street.

🔥Turn the heat on

Drafts are less noticeable with the heat on, so make sure that potential buyers are welcomed inside with warmth. If it’s been a while since examining the HVAC system, now is the time. Affordable fixes like adding insulation, replacing weather stripping, and servicing the furnace can go a long way.

🧹Clean the gutters

Overflowing or broken gutters can be one of the first (negative) things buyers notice. Once fall ends, be sure to clear out all those leftover leaves.

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Blog courtesy of Zillow

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