Time magazine recently reported that the winter months, especially January, are the slowest months for home buying because people don’t like to house hunt in the cold. Servicemembers who may have secured their home with a VA loan often don’t have the luxury to choose the timing of their home sale due to military-related relocation orders.
It doesn’t mean defeat, however, if you’re set on listing this winter. Some areas, such as Vermont or Florida, draw buyers in because they are popular winter destinations – either to get away from the cold or embrace it with skiing and snowboarding, MSN reported. Even if you don’t live in popular winter regions, you can still attract buyers by being aware of the best marketing strategies.
Don’t let winter elements get the worst of your showing
If your walkways are icy and your driveway is impossible to park in because of snow, homeowners may have a poor first impression of your house, according to MSN. Make sure paths are shoveled and salted to prevent ice from forming. If you’re away or don’t live in the area, you may want to consider hiring a service to maintain your sidewalks and driveways for you.
Give a ‘cozy’ impression
The inside of your home needs to reflect “warm, cozy and homey,” a realtor told MSN. Homeowners should adjust the thermostat to a warmer temperature to make it welcoming and comfortable for buyers. If it’s safe, turn on fireplaces to give the home a lived-in feel. Other winter touches include a thick comforter on the bed, a nice aroma associated with the winter months and music playing softly in the background.
Be realistic about your home’s good and bad features
Tell your agent about all of your home’s great features as well as its quirks, according to the Herald Extra. This should be required by the agent anyway when you list your home and sign a property disclosure.
Keep entryways clean
Keep entryways clean of mud and clutter when trying to sell your home, according to Houzz. This time of year it’s especially easy for potential buyers to track in snow and dirt, so don’t be afraid to ask them to remove their shoes or slip on booties upon entering. A realtor told MSN that buyers actually like this because they appreciate a sense of pride of ownership and meticulousness.
The great thing about selling in the winter is that there are less homes on the market. So you may find you have more interest than you expected! Once you find a potential buyer, you may want to contact a VA-approved lender to help you get your paperwork in order for your next home. They may be able to help you obtain your new COE (Certificate of Eligibility) to show restored VA loan entitlement and even connect you with a military-friendly realtor in your new hometown.