There will be those who tell you there is no “off season” to sell your home, but for me there are clearly times during the year when the buyer pool is smaller. The winter season is one of them because there are a lot of people who don’t want to move during the holidays. When the time of year might not be on your side, it’s important to utilize smart moves to attract potential buyers. Here are my tips for selling in the off season:
If you’re considering selling your home in the off season, there’s a good chance you’ve got a sense of urgency. That means the off season is no time to list high. An aggressive price gets interested buyers to move quickly. And when there aren’t a ton of buyers looking for homes, you don’t want to scare off anyone with a high price.
Be prepared to negotiate.
Just because you’ve priced it well doesn’t mean your work is done. With fewer offers out there, you may need to entertain lower than expected offers or throw in some extras like covering closing costs. If you’re ready for this before you list, it won’t knock you off your game when the negotiations begin.
Get a pre-inspection.
If you’ve priced aggressively and prepped yourself for negotiating, the last thing you need is a surprise. Knowing what needs to be done ahead of time means you can address problems before they’re brought up or at least be ready to make concessions if necessary.
Have all-season photos on hand.
If there’s snow on the ground, especially that week-old snow that’s turning gray, you’ll want to have photos that show people how great their new home will look in the summer.
Be well documented.
A binder full of instruction manuals and warranties for all the appliances (including water heater, furnace, etc.) can go a long way towards making potential buyers feel comfortable with what they’re getting.
Clean, stage and tighten.
It goes without saying that you need to make sure you’re taking care of all of the usual things. Clean everything, then clean it again, edit down your furniture (or have it professionally staged), make sure your sidewalks and driveways are clear, fix any minor problems, tighten every screw and fill any small cracks. You don’t want a five-minute project to ruin your chances of finding a buyer.
So there you have it. Whether you believe there’s an off season or not, if you make the right moves, you can find a buyer any time of year. And part of making the right moves is choosing the right partners. When it comes to brokerages, you probably know this but I’m a fan of Owners.com. They have the perfect combination of useful tools, expert agents and insightful resources—plus their smart seller packages can save you thousands off traditional seller commissions.
If all of this gets you down about off-season selling, remember: the pool of buyers may be smaller, but you still only need one person to say “Yes.”