I think one of the most common questions that a real estate agent gets asked is "when is the best time to sell or buy a home?" and the typical answer would be spring. However, the recent news of the uncertainty of real estate have pushed sellers to act earlier and beat everyone else by putting their houses in the market as early as January. This strategy presents advantages to both sellers and buyers.
For sellers - there's less competition as most people do not want to uproot their children from their present schools so they time their move in the summer which means that they sell in the spring.
Here are some useful tips for sellers who are thinking of putting their home for sale in the winter months:
- Improve the curb appeal of your home - use decorative urns to brighten up your front yard to compensate for the lack of greenery.
- Be sure to remove any traces of christmas decor especially decorative lights which homeowners tend to leave until spring time
- Make sure to turn on your fireplace when there are showings or open houses
- Have pictures of your spring/summer landscape displayed either digitally or in a album which buyers can browse through
- Have recent maintenance or inspection reports of your swimming pool or airconditioning available
- Have an environmental audit done and highlight portions of the report that confirms that there's no moisture and that there's sufficient insulation on your walls.
Check out Mark Weisleder's article in the Toronto Star.