Baby It’s Cold Outside!
Baby it’s cold outside! Have you turned on the heat yet? Chances are, unless you live in Florida or Arizona, the answer is probably, “yes”. A lot of people think that they should wait until Spring to sell their house. They ask me if it’s best to wait until the holidays are over and the weather warms up. Not necessarily. There are a few reasons why you may want to test the market now.
- Lookie-loos don’t go out in the cold. That’s a Realtor term – haha. People that are just kicking tires, not serious buyers, are typically not going to browse around when the weather is bad. They are more likely to stay inside and look online. They also have too many things going on with the holiday season to fill their time so they don’t have time to window shop for houses. Therefore, most people that see your home will actually be serious, qualified buyers.
- Houses feel “homier” in the cold months. If you have a fireplace, it’s a great time to use it. If you have twinkle lights or holiday decorations, they all make the house feel cozier and more like a home. Warning: Don’t go overboard with decorations. The house still has to look spacious and too many decorations can make rooms look smaller, cluttered, and be distracting for potential buyers.
- There are less daylight hours. You may think this is a bad thing, however, if you are still living in your home, buyers will only have so many daylight hours in which to view your home and you will only be incovenienced with showings during those hours.
- Fewer houses are on the market. This automatically gives you an advantage versus waiting until the Spring when you have a lot more competition.
- You may be out of town. If you are travelling, you may be more open to showings at any time because you won’t be there anyway. You can clean before you leave and not have to worry about tidying up.
Certainly there are negatives:
- There may be less showings. Because there are typically less buyers in the market at this time, you will likely have less people see it and, therefore, it may take longer to sell.
- Your holidays may be interrupted. A lot of folks travel for the holidays. Some think about moving closer to their relatives and since they are in town, they want to see houses. This may mean that they want to see your house on Christmas Eve or the day after Thanksgiving when your house looks like Cousin Eddie is visiting.
- Landscaping can look drab. While the inside of the house may be warm and inviting, the outside may look sparse and unattractive. Do your best to have some winter flowers near the door and make sure the landscaping is neat and clean. Some trimming and mulch can go a long way and chances are they won’t be spending much time outside anyway!
Michelle Froedge is a residential Realtor and Principal Broker in the Greater Nashville and Williamson County areas of Tennessee. “Mom” to four-legged fur babies, Tyler and Livvie, Auntie to Zelamie, she is a vegetarian and sings in her spare time. Michelle has lived in Nashville and Franklin since 1997 and has been selling homes since 2004.