I've sold real estate for 39 years in both Fargo, North Dakota area and the Prescott, Arizona area. They both have winters, but in Fargo, it may be 40 below zero and about 20 above for night time low temperatures in our area of Prescott. Our winters are a pleasure in Prescott and, of course, one of the main reasons to live here! We do have 4 great seasons.
First, if you don’t need to sell or are not serious about selling, take your home off the market during December, January, and February and usually the first one-half of March. There are very few buyers during those months as compared to the balance of the year. If you do receive any offers on your home, they will normally be lower than the more active selling months. If you are both buying and selling in our market, it’s a good time to buy up but not to downsize.
What to do if you need or want to sell in the winter:
- Have the best value in your area. Often the best priced home will get the best price; never, never over price your home in the winter months as it will become an old, stale listing. When spring comes and realtors and buyers began looking for properties, it will be considered a shop worn property showing many more days on the market compared to newly listed properties.
- Real Estate cards: One of the worst things for a seller is when a listing realtor does not pick up all the cards from previous showings; it is actually stupid to say the least. When I am showing a buyer a home and we see all the previous showings, I feel it’s only right to tell the potential buyers how many people have obviously rejected the property. This may mean it’s a real deal now with a lower price.
When I am done showing the home, I normally help the seller by putting the excess cards in a neat small pile so that they aren’t so evident.
Vacant winter homes:
- Put a large thermometer in a side window and ask your neighbor or your realtor to check it to make sure the furnace is working. Often, it won’t be necessary to go inside if it’s placed in an obvious window. Also there are phone apps and other devices that will work very well.
- Turn off your water at the meter or any other place provided.
- Have a timer on lights to come on or off in at least 2 or 3 rooms.
- Line up snow removal when needed as a slippery sidewalk or a slippery driveway may cause an accident.
- Let the sun in your home when it’s possible. It will show much better and look somewhat occupied-----especially if there are sheer drapes, etc. It makes it possible to see through from the inside, but only lights show from the exterior. A bright, warm home feels more welcoming.
Make sure you stop your newspapers and mail deliveries; have the neighbors check your doors, driveway and mailbox for the many unsubscribed articles left while you’re away. Do not put on Face Book, email, or any social media of the fact that you will be out of town on vacation, gone for the winter, etc. It’s an invite for hackers to come to your home. Give the people you want to know you’ll be away a call. Try to make your home look lived in, not vacant.
Take a selling break from December-March. Enjoy these months and enjoy a much more friendly selling market from April-November.
I hope this short article will give you more overall knowledge on winter selling. It may save you or gain you more money and keep you away from potential law suits from snow, ice, etc. in your driveways and sidewalks. If you are buying and selling, do as you wish as it’s a good time to buy up but not downsize. The best scenario for anyone who can do this is to sell in the good market time and buy in the slow time. This works well with short rent backs of your own home when possible. There are many other ways to make it work also.
Good luck in any way you try!
Thoughts Of The Day:"There is only one power greater than fear and that is faith!" and, "Find the positive out of every negative!"
If you have any real estate questions, call me at 928 533-4455. The call is free and so is my email.
Finally, remember, "Experience Isn’t Expensive, It’s Priceless!"
Lee Amble, Realtor, Consultant
NATIONAL REALTY OF PRESCOTT
LEE’S CELL: 928 533-4455
JAN’S CELL: 928 533-4488