The Slow Season Myths

Yes!!!! It is finally here. By now, you have dusted off your Uggs, ordered pumpkin spice everything, you’re checking the Christmas list and checking it twice.  The lawn is now dormant. The trails are now blending in with the rest of the surroundings due to the falling leaves. It is typically dark around 6 pm and temperatures are barely hovering in the 50s. One might assume that I am referring to the fall, but for many potential sellers, this is also the dreaded “slow season!”

The majority of these sellers base the notion that the slow season is a bad time to sell on a few myths;

1.     Historically, October through February are the slowest months of the year for real estate.

2.     With guests and travel, it’s more inconvenient to sell during the Holidays.

3.     Their home will sell for less and remain on the market far longer than during the “hot” season

There are other reasons why sellers opt not to sell, but these are the most common. The weather may be colder and the days shorter,  but the fall/winter seasons are prime seasons for selling your home. Here’s why:

1.     Quarter 4 of 2017 saw a decrease in homes listed from Q3 (269/413) while there were 327 new pending sales during the final quarter. This reduction in inventory is a key indicator that it is still very much a seller’s market and at the end of the 2nd quarter of 2018, the supply was still 3 months.

2.     Holiday travel and guests can, in fact, be a seller’s inconvenience. With technology, however, showings can be scheduled when they best fit into the seller’s schedule. Knowing your schedule and communicating that with your real estate agent ahead of time, will help reduce the stress of showings. Leaving your home show ready and having a local realtor that can help with showings will only make it easier for the seller during this time of year.

3.     Homes sold at 99% of list price on average in Q4 of 2017. This was the same in the previous quarter during the “hot selling season.” There was a small increase (9 days) in days on market, but sellers saw no decrease in sales price.

In short, before you put off selling your home during this year’s “slow season” for the more competitive market, talk to a licensed real estate professional about your home’s potential to be on someone’s holiday wish list.

Ready to Take the Stage

The snow has melted, the birds are chirping, and the tulips and daffodils are in full bloom. You are ready to take on the anxiety-filled adventure of selling your home. Of course, there is choosing the right real estate agent and price, but what’s next?

One of the single most important details of selling a home (and quite frankly, one of the most ignored) is home staging. I am not talking about HGTV’s ‘Property Brothers’ level staging. In most cases, there is no need to go out and buy anything. Here are four simple tips to ensure that your home is ready to appeal to even the most discerning buyer.

1.     The Natural Path – If a buyer has to maneuver around your furniture, no matter how large it is, the room will feel small and cramped. Reducing pieces and/or rearranging your furniture to create a better flow goes a long way.

2.     De-Personalize – This seems like a no-brainer, but it warrants repeating. Unique artifacts, tchotchkes, and artwork are awesome discussion pieces, but are major distractions during showings. Buyers tend to focus on what’s bright and shiny, so let your home, not your personal effects, catch their attention!

3.     Curb Appeal – Again, it seems so simple, but so many listings get it wrong. A well-kept lawn, trimmed hedges, and fresh blooms and mulch. make a great first impression. Fallen leaves, dead flowers, and untrimmed bushes give the impression that the home has not been well maintained.

4.     Say It, Don’t Spray It – Put down the Febreeze, and pause before lighting that candle. Research shows that the most desirable scents for potential buyers is fresh linen or citrus. Try using a small drop of oil on your air filters rather than sprays and candles. Plus, if the scents are heavy, buyers may think you’re trying to cover up a bad smell

The goal of most home sellers is to sell their home as quickly as possible for the highest amount possible. While no Realtor has a crystal ball (if they say they do, RUN!), we all want to give your home the absolute best chance. In a flooded seller’s market, where you are not competing with new construction homes, but often times, a resale home with the same floor plan, the four tips above can put you on a great path to accomplishing your goals.