How to Tackle a Winter Home Sale

Author Kira Dennison | Feb 21, 2020

The internet is rife with countless articles spelling out certain doom with a winter home sale, which makes it understandable when sellers balk at the idea. However, those forecasts typically deal with areas in the country that are getting pounded with snow and miserable weather. While Portland gets its fair share of rain and occasional snow showers in the winter months, tackling a winter home sale isn’t as perilous as the real estate rumor mill would make it seem.

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According to HomeLight’s top agent insights survey for quarter four, 48 percent of agents say that it is still a seller’s market. In the Greater Portland Area, average inventory has consistently stayed under 3 months making it a great time to sell. Instead of putting off the inevitable, take advantage of the fact that many other sellers out there think that winter is a difficult time to sell. Remember, many of those agents are reporting from areas where winter weather makes people hibernate because of its bleakness. It’s also worth noting that winter buyers tend to be more serious buyers who are ready to purchase.

There is lower inventory in the winter months, with 74 percent of agents reporting that winter sellers see decreased listing competition. In fact, 46 percent of agents reported that inventory is lower than expected this quarter, which bodes well for your home sale. Take advantage of the seller’s market and list your property — you’ll be sure to stand out with fewer options!

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With 90 percent of agents expecting home prices to stay level or rise in the first quarter of 2020, it would be a shame to push back your home sale. Pair those home prices with the fact that mortgage interest rates are remaining low, fueling buyer demand, and you have the perfect opportunity to sell quickly at a fair price.

Overpricing your home can be one of the largest inhibitors when trying to sell. 50 percent of agents reported the biggest challenge of 2019 was the sellers’ tendency to overprice, and 51 percent say that pricing will also be the biggest risk of 2020. Price right at the outset, list while it’s still a seller’s market, and you’ll be able to use that profit when you’re next looking to buy a home.

P R E P P I N G   Y O U R   H O M E   F O R   S A L E

With your decision to list finalized, don’t waste time preparing your home. With the rainy season upon us, consider having a roof inspection done to pinpoint any leaks or potential problems. And while you’re focusing your efforts above eye level, schedule gutter maintenance before you begin showing your home. Clogged gutters can cause issues, but are also an eyesore when potential buyers come to your home. And while you want your gutters to be bare, you definitely want to dress up your flower beds or accent pots with winter plants. We recommend Bartlett Tree Experts for any winter landscaping needs to keep your house in tiptop shape for buyers.

It’s preferable to have showings during daylight hours when you’re selling in the winter months, but that’s not always possible with potential buyers booking after-work tours. Make sure your home is well-lit, taking advantage of natural sunlight, as well as providing ample lighting inside, especially for those winter evening showings. Choose your lighting wisely — too bright, and your home will seem sterile rather than cozy.

Now that you know that the market’s looking good for your winter home sale, what are you waiting for? Get your home in show-ready condition and you’ll have an offer in no time. Good luck!

| Selling