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The Caswell Team

The Caswell Team

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Selling In The Winter

(Published on - 2/29/2020 4:42:48 PM)

What better time to write about selling your home in the winter than on a day like today when we get hammered with an enormous amount of snow. I’m sure most of you are out there trying to dig yourselves out or maybe you are on vacation and don’t have to worry about it…. until you get home…..

If you’re considering selling this year, why wait?  Selling your property in the winter has far more advantages than people think, and you can actually maximize your equity in the winter months rather than waiting.

First, because everyone thinks the Spring is the perfect time to list, your neighbours are all waiting till the snow melts which will bring on more competition and more supply for buyers to choose from.  The supply is always lower in the winter, but there are buyers that still have to buy, so you can take advantage of the Supply/Demand economics at play. 

Secondly, if you have that awesome waterfront or rural property in a gorgeous setting, why wait until the bugs are out in full force!  We all know they’re coming in droves, but when buyers can’t bare to be outside walking that great property or sitting on the dock cause of the swarms, it can have them pushing away a property.

Third, winter is a quieter time.  Your neighbour won’t be working on their car in the backyard or using that 30-year old lawnmower at 730am on a Sunday, their kids won’t be screaming playing around the pool and traffic will normally be lighter and slower if you’re on a busy street. 

Use these common buyer concerns to your advantage when the season allows you!

If you’re considering it, here is some advice for those sellers currently listed or preparing to list soon to take your listing to the next level.

If the property you are selling is vacant, consider hiring a contractor to make sure the driveway and walkway to the door are clear. If not, it makes it very difficult for the agent and their client to access the home and they could end up cancelling or not viewing the home because they could not get in.

Don’t turn the heat right down to save money.  Make sure you frequently check the temperature in the home.  You want potential buyers to feel welcome and nothing says “welcome home” on a -30oC day than a nice warm property.  Buyers are often bundled up and I’ve seen way too many times where sellers will turn the heat down to the bare minimum.  We walk in, take our boots off, zip up our coats even farther and, with our feet freezing on the cold floors, we end up rushing through the home.  Having buyers take their coats off when they walk in because it’s comfortable makes them instantly feel as though they’re “coming home” for the day.  And make sure you don’t skimp on the in-floor heating if you have it!  

Also, make sure to leave a mat or an old piece of carpet at the entrance for those snow-covered boots with enough room for everyone – agent and two buyers at least.  Don’t worry so much about look as functionality – its winter, people get it.

Vacant homes often turn water off for insurance purposes.  If you are turning the water off, make sure your agent knows and be sure to leave a note advising guests that the water is off.  Coming in from a cold winter day into your, now, nice warm property often brings the urge to use the bathroom for some!

“What is that annoying, constant beeping sound?”  I have never sold a home where the smoke alarm or carbon dioxide detector is warning the batteries are low.  The sound consistently breaks up the conversation and people lose focus.  Don’t let the cost of a couple batteries impact the hundreds of thousands of dollars you’re selling for, so make sure you change the batteries in your detectors.  It’s also a potentially lifesaving fix…..

“But my backyard and gardens will look way better in the Spring!”  Guess what, so will your neighbours!  Every year make it a habit of taking some great backyard shots on one of those days where you’re just so proud of your yard after a full day of grooming.  Placing a nice binder with full page pics of your yard in front of the best backyard view from the home will help them envision what the yard looks like and they’ll start seeing themselves out in the yard enjoying the summer weather!

Now, if you’re selling your property while you are still living there, most of the above still apply along with a few extras…..

Don’t leave the entire families’ winter coats and boots at the door.  It will make the entry seem tighter when they walk in and makes the buyers think, “maybe there’s not enough room to host Thanksgiving dinner here” before they even get into the dining room.

Get out there and pick up after your pets.  Stepping in a “landmine” in the summer is no fun, of course.  But when people are seeing your nice backyard photos you’ve left on the counter and they look out to envision the kids playing back there, the contrast between the snow and the “poopsicles” is too drastic!  And, with the windows shut, that kitty litter can get even more potent in the basement…..

Speaking of which, purge the air in your home occasionally.  On a breezy day, open all the doors and windows for a minute or two just to freshen the air.  I know, seems crazy, but not every house has an air exchanger (not to mention a clean air exchanger) and the air gets stale.  You might be used to it and not notice, but that heavy garlic and onion meal you made on Sunday might still be hanging in the air for Tuesday’s showing!  Don’t panic, everything in your house retains heat.  The tables, chairs, couches, cabinets, etc.  It won’t take long at all to have the temperature back up to the same comfortable level.

Buyers are always looking regardless of season, but sellers seem to think Spring/Summer are the only times.  It’s a major misconception.  And you should take advantage of it!

No matter when you decide to sell, there’s always the rights and wrongs for every season.  With our experience, we know the right way to get it done.  Never hesitate to contact us at caswellteam@realtyexecutives.com to discuss the game plan that's right for you!  In the meantime, you can always view all the MLS™ listings herecheck out all our informative and entertaining blog topics here or just browse our website for great information on buying and selling in Greater Sudbury and surrounding areas.

Contributed by:

Amanda Gervais

Cell - 705.929.1930

agervais@realtyexecutives.com

 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other salespersons, staff or affiliates of Realty Executives of Sudbury LTD. Brokerage, Realty Executives International, the Sudbury Real Estate Board, Ontario Real Estate Association, Canadian Real Estate Association or any of their subsidiaries.  For any concerns pertaining to the content herein, please contact us immediately at caswellteam@realtyexecutives.com.

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