Thinking of Selling Your Vancouver Home During the Winter?
Now that we are kicking off the gray and rainy season here in the Pacific Northwest, it’s time for home sellers to begin that age old debate: is it safe to list my home now, or should we let that listing hibernate until the drier and sunnier spring months?
Conventional wisdom dictates that the winter months are a complete dead zone for selling your home: buyers are happy to stay nestled in their current homes, they aren’t changing jobs and relocating, or spending on major purchases like a new home is on lock-down during the gift buying holiday season.
But, a recent data survey from realty website, Redfin, shows that in the Portland metro area, you are 58% more likely to sell your home within 6 months when listed in the fall, and 65% likely to sell your home within 6 months when listed during the winter vs. 54% when listing in the summer.
While buyer traffic may not be as heavy during the colder and rainier months in Clark County, buyers who are willing to brave the wet and cold tend to be more serious about touring homes on the market, and with lower inventory and less competition, the chances of selling your home can be higher.
This is not to say that it is time to test the waters by pushing your selling price to the higher end of the spectrum. Having a home that is overpriced and still sitting on the market once the listing heavy spring months rolls around can leave your home lost amongst the crop of fresh new sellers.
If you are going to sell your Vancouver area home during the gloomier months, consider some of these tips:
Curb Appeal Is Still Important
While the flowers aren’t blooming and many trees and shrubs have shed their greenery, it’s still important to keep up outside appearances by not letting basic maintenance go to the wayside: keep your grass cut, leaves raked, and pathways and decks swept and dirt and moss free.
Add decorative elements like potted plants or flowers that are winter time friendly, or a warming holiday-neutral fall or winter time wreath to your front door.
Include pictures of your home taken during the warmer and greener months in your home’s online listing, or keep printed images on hand of your home showcasing it’s landscaping best for potential buyers to see when touring your home.
While it’s fun to get into the spirit of holidays, avoid overdoing exterior decorations like lights or holiday themed lawn decorations that take away from the exterior view of your home. As always, less is more and buyers want to imagine the homes as their own so avoid too much clutter on the outside.
Accentuate the Interior
Show buyers how your home can be a cozy gathering space, especially during the months where you are most likely to be gathering with friends and family inside. Stage your living room or dining room as a welcome reprieve from the harsher winter months using inviting colors and place settings or holiday foods. If you have a fireplace, light it up to turn the cozy factor up a notch.
Add lighting and open window treatments to make sure rooms aren’t dark and depressing during those winter months when the sun sets much earlier in the day.
Don’t neglect keeping the inside clean. Potential buyers will be spending more time inside your home during the winter, and their attention will be more critical of dirty cluttered areas. Clean windows, sweep and mop entryways dirty from foot traffic, redo old caulk around tubs, or professionally clean your carpets to remove staining.