Angie’s List: Off-season home selling

(WKOW) — If you’re planning to sell your home this year, you might want to hurry. That’s right, it could be easier to sell your home in the winter rather than the spring, summer or fall. One industry source says February is the best month to sell. Here’s more in today’s Angie’s List report.

Think winter is a terrible time to sell your house? Wrong! The combination of fewer sellers and eager buyers make it a great time to list.

Angie Hicks, Angie’s List Founder says, “Many people think selling their home in the winter is not a great idea, but if you think about it, there’s less competition because there’s usually fewer homes on the market. Also, when there are buyers in the market in the winter, they’re more motivated because they’re not just window shopping.”

Dan Tracy, of Fulton Grace Realty “Less competition ultimately is the number one reason for a seller to list in the winter, in the perceptually poorer months.”

A recent Redfin report showed that winter-listed homes are 9 percent more likely to sell, and that they sell a week faster than homes listed in other seasons. One thing that helps is a furnace tune-up so your home feels cozy as soon as prospective buyers are in the door.

“What I like to do is make sure the heat is set at a certain temperature. Maybe that’s 72 or 73 degrees – whatever’s comfortable for that home so when you walk in, it feels warm and inviting,” says Tracy.

Listing your home now may require a little more effort, especially if weather takes a turn for the worse.

“If you’re showing your house in the winter, you need to be flexible for changing weather conditions, so if you have a showing coming up and snow has just come through, be sure you clear the sidewalks and driveway before you leave your house,” says Hicks.

Tracy says, “The last thing you want is for a prospective buyer to love the home and fall on their way out going down the back stairs.”

Angie has a few other tips for selling in the winter. She says if you have a fireplace, you should get it swept and have a fire burning during showings. Also, clean the windows and let in as much natural light as possible. That’s especially helpful on overcast days.

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