The most common question clients have asked me this year is “Should I sell now or wait until the spring?” I am always very cautious when answering this question. Of course, I can go on and tell them “The market is hot..sell now!” This statement would be true since in many parts of the GTA we are seeing record low inventory (homes available for sale) and a high number of eager buyers. However, won’t this continue well into the spring and summer months thus causing the prices to increase even more in the next few months? The answer to that question is also yes. It is important to take into consideration that there are no clear indicators of the market slowing down this year, thus the current strength of our market shouldn’t be the sole motivation for you to sell your home. The right time to sell should be when you are ready and comfortable to do so. With that being said, the right time for some people is right now so I will go ahead and give you some perspective into making the sale of your home during the winter months a success.
- Prepare your home- This is important in every season. However, during the winter months there are key components of your home that should be emphasized to prospective buyers. If your house requires fresh paint, choose lighter colours in order to make your home look as bright as possible during the dull and dark winter afternoons. Proper lighting is essential, especially in the winter months so make sure to replace any burnt out bulbs, and add lighting where needed. If you are selling a vacant property, please ensure that the furnace is on (and working!) and that the temperature to the home is set to a comfortable temperature of 20 degrees Celsius or higher. Believe me, there is nothing more uncomfortable for buyers and their agents than a freezing cold home.
- Think Curb Appeal- This applies year round, however with the winter presents different challenges and opportunities in terms of the outside of our home. Let’s start with snow, if your home is on the market you should make sure that your driveway is ploughed and salted. This might seem like common sense, but it is often forgotten by some homeowners. A clean snow free driveway doesn’t only allow safe and easy parking for potential buyers, but also conveys to them that the homeowners take care of their property. The backyard is also important during the winter, especially if your home features a custom deck or stone work that would be a selling point to potential buyers. If this is the case, it is in your best interest to do some extra shovelling to remove snow for them to be visible. Make sure all exterior lights are turned on, remember, first impressions in Real Estate are extremely important!
- Welcome home- Buying the house in the winter months can be frustrating. It is often said in our industry that the most serious buyers are those looking for a place in the winter. I tend to agree with this since a lot of buyers tend to put their search on hold until the spring. That being said, when you are selling your home in the winter you can really make your home stand out by making it ‘warmer’ and more inviting. Ensure that all lights are on when potential buyers see your home, if you have a fireplace make it a focal point of your home and make sure it is turned on. Also, it is common and courteous for buyers to remove their shoes when viewing your home, so make sure that the floors are properly mopped and dry for them to walk comfortably. It is a good idea to have spare pairs of slippers for them to wear.