We’re here to provide some tips for selling in the winter. The indicators of winter are all around us — bare trees, chilly temperatures and fewer “for sale” signs in the neighborhoods.
Spring and summer still rule when it comes time to sell your house. There’s no denying that the six months during those seasons are the most popular times to buy and sell houses in the Denver real estate market. Moving in the winter brings its own particular challenges brought on by the cold weather and sales dip accordingly.
However, by following some tips for selling your home in winter, you’ll discover that the colder months bring advantages: serious buyers, less competition, and a smooth transaction.
Don’t let low sales numbers scare you off from selling your home in the winter. Keep in mind that part of the reason for lower sales is that there are fewer homes being listed in the winter in general. As much as a snowy day may make you want to stay indoors by the fire, the Denver real estate market doesn’t hibernate.
With new companies relocating to Denver and the economy continuing its strong performance, many people are finding themselves in a position to buy a home instead of renting. The people looking to buy at this time of year exhibit much different characteristics than those looking to buy during the spring/summer months (see below).
In fact, if you’re serious about selling your home and willing to put in a bit of extra work to make your house shine, there are some serious advantages to selling in the winter.
Why Consider Selling in the Winter?
Your house is likely your most valuable asset, so any decision you make in selling should not be taken lightly. Here are some very good reasons to consider selling in the winter rather than waiting for the weather to warm up.
Braving sleet and snow to go out and look at houses isn’t most people’s idea of a good way to spend a wintery weekend. Buyers attending your showings in the winter are more likely to be serious. They are determined to find a home so you won’t be wasting your time with people just looking to browse.
Smoother, Faster Transactions
Everyone involved in the real estate market from agents to lawyers experience a quiet period during the winter months. That means their attention is divided between fewer cases; therefore, they can put more of their energy towards bringing you to a quick closing.
The massive influx of new listings each spring means that it’s easy for your home, no matter how lovely, to get lost in the crowd. Putting your home up for sale in the winter means there’s less competition, and a great listing can really stand out. To get an idea of what’s going on in the Denver real estate market and a sense of the competition, check out the market conditions in your area.
Faster Sales and Still High Prices
Contrary to popular belief, homes put up in winter aren’t slow sellers. In fact, houses put on the market in the winter months are on the market just a few more days than in the spring or summer. Even more exciting? Denver homes sold in December are typically on par with comparable sales during the fall months of September and October.
Colorado Homeowners Enjoy Above Average Home Equity
Over the last seven years, home prices in the Denver area have doubled. Even within the last five years, home values have exploded.
According to statistics from DMAR, the average sold price for a single family detached home was $479,194 in November, 2017. That price is now $732,437 (November, 2022). And even year-over-year data l(November 2021 to November 2022) shows a respectively gain in home sold price of 4.5 percent.
Set Your Winter Listing Up For Success
Now that you know why you should consider selling in the winter, you need to know how to do it right. You have fewer potential buyers, so you have to make sure that you get it right.
It’s What’s Inside That Counts
Making sure the inside of your home is ready for viewings is absolutely essential to the success of a sale at any time of the year. This is even more true in the winter, where the interior has to make up for the lack of greenery, landscaping and outdoor ambiance. Consider washing the windows, especially those on the south and west side of your home. With the sun low in the sky, these areas are especially vulnerable to dust, streaks and smudges which are easily visible inside.
Make sure that your house is clean and clear of clutter before every viewing. Clutter has a negative impact on your ability to focus and take in information. It also can make you feel more stressed and less happy. When buyers are coming in from the cold to see your house, you want to ensure they’re greeted with a warm and welcoming environment. Clean up and show off your home at its best.
Clutter can include excess furniture. While you may have extra chairs and end tables for functionality, consider putting your least attractive pieces in storage during showings. Streamlining the decor in your rooms can help make rooms feel bigger as well.
Don’t underestimate the impact of a new coat of paint. Painting can be a relatively inexpensive way to make your house look fresh and new for viewings.
Putting Your Best Face Forward
While the snow outdoors may mean you can’t landscape as you could in the summer, that doesn’t mean you should neglect your yard. A great way to make your house look cozy and appealing is to decorate according to the season. Consider decorations such as festive wreaths and lights for Christmas. Cold-weather plants such as holly are also a great way to add some visual interest to the front of your home.
If you do decorate, ensure that it is tasteful and appropriate. You want people to pay attention to your house, not the giant inflatable reindeer on your lawn. And once the holidays are over, take down the decorations; otherwise, they’re nothing but a distraction.
Always keep your walks and driveway shoveled and free of ice. Don’t forget to showcase the outdoor areas that people will be interested in seeing, such as a deck or patio.
In Working Order
Before hosting any showings, make sure everything in your home is in working order. That means any issues with plumbing, heating, electrical, etc., should all be dealt with before the first viewing. While you may not like the expense of bringing in a professional, potential buyers will question the integrity of the home if there are dripping faucets or light fixtures that don’t work.
This is especially important for your HVAC system. Any issues with the furnace will be immediately apparent to viewers during cold winter days. Having your HVAC system inspected by a professional will give you valuable documentation that your system is working properly.
Additionally, if you have a high-efficiency system, consider keeping some electricity bills on hand. This will give potential buyers an idea of how much you spend on energy costs, especially if they are considering making an offer on the home. Having a properly heated home will also make your house feel cozy and more appealing.
Set The Right Price and Appeal to the Right Buyers
Knowing the real estate market in your neighborhood is absolutely essential for a successful winter sale. Too high of a price will turn off potential buyers at a time of year when buyers aren’t abundant. At the same time, a low price likely won’t result in the same sort of bidding war you might see in the spring — you don’t want to risk selling your house for too low of a price.
The best thing to do is to speak to a broker. They can advise you on trends in the Denver real estate market and ensure that your house is priced properly for the winter market.
A winter sale brings its own particular challenges and opportunities. With proper preparation, you can take advantage of this season and sell your home on your terms.
For advice or questions, contact us and see how we can help you with a sale this winter, or any time of year!