Selling your Home this Winter
In the Comox Valley we typically experience a peak listing season early spring and then again in early fall. There are a number of reasons for this cycle and it is one that has worked in the best interst of both buyers and sellers for decades. That said, we Buyers and Realtors find ourselves in an unusual situation this fall. We have the lowest inventory that we have experienced in years and no shortage of buyers searching. Right now there are many, many buyers ready, willing and able that have not had any success writing an offer on a property meeting their criteria.
CONSIDER LISTING THIS DECEMBER:
1. Less Competition. There are fewer homes on the market today. Many people are waiting to list their homes in the spring, so use this to your advantage. Less competition means your home will stand out and should achieve a quicker sale at a nice price.
2. Buyers are motivated to close. Usually there are fewer buyers in the winter, but this year we have had such low inventory that we have more demand than we have supply. There are buyers that are discouraged and have been on the hunt, unsucessfully, for months and months. These people want to buy a house yesterday.
3. Your home could show better. Create a cozy ambiance that defines a joyous Comox Valley season. Light your fire and incorporate lush seasonal greenery indoors. Make sure your landscaping has been tidied up for the season.
4. Take advantage of the holiday season. Add curb appeal by decorating with festive wreaths and lighting to make your home more inviting. Play soft music, holiday scents, fresh baking, and tasteful decor. Plus, you can enjoy all of this and celebrate the sale of your home in comfort and style. December also means out of town friends and family coming to visit. These visitors may start to fall in love with the Comox Valley and start planning a goal of moving in the new year. Be ready for those short notice out-of-towner viewings.
SET THE STAGE:
1. Maintain your exterior. Do not let snow or slippery frost impede a buyer's walk into your home. Shovel and salt driveways and walkways. An embarassing and painful fall is not the tone we want to set. Clean up your gutters, trim trees and hedges, rake up all leaves and winterize your garden beds. Test your outdoor lighting.
2. Clean up your clutter. Move boots, shoes, coats (etc) from the entrance and hide in a closet. You will be using your cold weather wear frequently, but in order to create the best impression that foyer needs to be free and clear. We will provide a "Please Remove your Shoes" sign to make sure buyers and their Realtors do not track the outdoors in.
3. Make it cozy. December is a great time to showcase the warm and inviting qualities of your home. Hang an evergreen wreath on the door and fold a thick throw over the back of a couch.
4. Turn the focus to the fireplace. If you happen to have a fireplace, keep that fire burning for the showing. Make sure the mantle is free and clear of personal belongings.
5. Turn on the lights. It is a dark time of year, and hopefully most showings will be scheduled for peak sunlight hours. Even still, your home will have less sunshine than usual. Turn on every light in the house and ensure all of your blinds and drapes are open.
6. Turn up the heat. It's cold outside so adjust the thermostat to a warmer temperature, but keep in mind most Buyers will keep their jacket on for the duration of the viewing. There is nothing worse than taking off your shoes and stepping on to fridged flooring.
7. Display warm-weather photos. Most of our homes look there best in spring and summer. Lay out photosof your gardens and exterior from brighter, warmer seasons next to our marketing materials. Better yet, email us those photos and we will include it in our binder for advertising.
Try out this recipe for Simmering Spices to add that warmth and cheer for showings:
5 cups of water
1 tsp whole cloves
1 tsp-sized knob of fresh ginger
1 tsp cardamom pods
1/4 tsp dried orange peel
2 navel oranges, peeled
1 apple, sliced in half
3 cinnamon sticks
Combine all ingredients together in a saucepan and heat over low heat until simmering. I have kept this going for a few hours, adding additional water when needed. You can also throw everything in the crockpot and set it on low or high with the top off.