03. Selling Your House in the Winter

So, it’s the middle of January and you find yourself needing to list your house for sale. Maybe you FINALLY received that out of state job offer you’ve been waiting for! Or maybe you are moving in order to be closer to a family member who has fallen ill. Regardless of the reason, you must sell now. You may find yourself worried, as many sellers are concerned about listing their house for sale during the winter months.

The general consensus is that you really should wait to list your house in the spring or summer months. More children are of out school or in between school years so a change in schools resulting from a move will be less impactful on children than switching schools during the middle of a school year. Additionally, buyers are more eager to shop for a house in the summer due to the longer and warmer days of the spring and summer months make it much easier for buyers to shop for a house than during the short cold days of the winter months.

This reality may leave you feeling stressed about having to list your house in the middle of winter! Well do not fear, this post will outline the benefits you’ll have selling your house in the winter rather than waiting until the spring or summer. In fact, some experts agree that it may be best to sell your house in the winter.

It is true, there are fewer home sales during winter than other seasons of the year. However, part of the reason is that there are far fewer houses being listed for sale during the winter! In fact, many houses that are listed in the winter sell much quicker than those houses listed during other seasons. The reason being that for homebuyers looking to purchase a home in the winter, there are far fewer options to choose from. Additionally, buyers are often more serious about buying a house during the winter months than those looking at houses during the warmer months. Someone is far less likely to go window-shopping for a house when it’s cold outside!

When you list your house for sale in the winter, your listing agent will often have more time to dedicate to the sale and marketing of your house. There are far fewer home sale transactions and far fewer buyers wanting to look at houses in the winter which results in more time on the hands of your agent to give your property the attention it deserves. Additionally, slower sales in winter mean your agent is taking home less in commissions during this time, so they may be even more motivated to find a buyer for your house so that they can ensure a relatively steady paycheck during this time.

If you find yourself with a house that is not in list-ready condition but you need to sell fast, many more investors are looking to purchase homes in the winter months because it allows them the necessary time to fix up the house to resell during the spring and summer months. Creo Home Buyers is a local house buying company in Maryland. We buy houses in Maryland for this purpose. So if you find yourself in a situation where you need to sell your house but do not have the time or resources to make it list-ready, feel free to contact us to see if selling without using a realtor or paying an agent’s commissions may be a good fit for your selling your house in Maryland.

5 Things That Could Cost You When Selling Your House

 1. Putting little effort into curb appeal

What is “curb appeal?” Curb appeal is the cover to the story that is your house. Even if the story is everything you’ve ever dreamed of inside, the perfect kitchen, just the right number of windows, etc., if the cover is unappealing, not many will want to see what’s inside.

Your house should put its best door forward while setting the tone and expectation that this could be “home” for the next potential owner. For ideas on how to decorate, look to see what has been done to improve the curb appeal of recently sold homes in the area or consult a knowledgeable real estate agent to learn the latest trends to increase the likelihood of a quick sale for top dollar.

However, be mindful of any restrictions your Maryland neighborhood may have regarding the look and design of your house. Fines and more repair costs are the last thing you want to deal with when trying to sell your house.

2. Leaving clutter around

When prospective buyers walk into your house, it should feel inviting. If there are a “lot of things” around, potential buyers may not feel welcome. It may be harder for them to envision themselves coming home after work to relax.

Additionally, having “clutter” may make it harder to have the home properly inspected. This could mean potential issues may not be spotted until farther along in the sales process as more items are cleared away or moved. Such discoveries can cause the sale to take much longer to complete or even cancel the sale entirely.

Clutter can also hide valuable key features of your home. Are your kids toys or furniture hiding the fireplace in the family room? Are the built-in window seats functioning as a clothes rack? Families walking through your house will see the clutter and not these special features leaving them likely to put in a lower offer than if the house had been de-cluttered

3. Keeping personal items in view

If your house is full of family pictures and personal mementos, it will be more difficult for potential buyers to visualize themselves the place as “home.” This will lower the offer prices received, the number of offers submitted, and may even result in your property remaining on the market longer than expected. Keep your personal items packed away.

4. Saving painted murals and bold color schemes

Bold color and painted murals are often very personalized and appealing to a small number of buyers. Neutral colors and themes appeal to the greatest number of buyers. This applies to your furniture as well.

That red and black leather living room set? Bright orange walls in the master bedroom? You may want to consider renting neutral furniture and re-painting the walls while your house is on the market. The idea is to appeal to the largest number of buyers, and neutral themes and colors are the best way to do so!

Murals are not always a bad idea to keep, particularly if the mural was professionally painted. Though, if your house in Maryland isn’t selling and has been sitting on the market for longer than expected, you just may be surprised how quickly you receive an offer after painting over it.

5. Lingering odors

Every home has a smell, make sure yours is a good one. Scented candles and air freshener scents will only mix with unpleasant odors rather than eliminate them. Potential buyers coming through your house may also find air freshener scents offensive, having the opposite of the desired effect.

The best way to combat odors? Deep cleaning. Carpets, bedding, curtains, and fabric furniture often harbor the greatest number of odors. Keep bedding and curtains freshly laundered. For carpets and furniture, hire a professional cleaner or clean those items yourself.

If you plan to list your house on the market, be sure you have the time, energy, and money needed to put into your house to get it sold for top dollar. Even after addressing the items listed above, the market is unpredictable, and your house may not sell as quickly as expected or at all!

However, there is an easier way!

Did you know you could skip all of the steps above and sell your house in Baltimore to a professional house buying company, like Creo Home Buyers?

We take all of the guesswork and effort out of selling your house. The best part when selling your house to Creo Home Buyers? You don’t have to tackle a single item in the list above. Sell your house in Maryland AS-IS! No repairs, cleaning, or prep-work needed!