I think we’ll wait to sell in the spring…
By Kathy Schmidt, Broker/Owner, Schmidt Realty Group Inc.
This is a comment I often hear when meeting with clients in the fall. It’s understandable. Everyone knows that spring is the busiest time of the year for real estate. But, is the busy market always the best market?
There are a lot of reasons why selling now might be best for you:
- “Life” is happening! You can’t always control when you need to move. Maybe it’s a job transfer or career opportunity you can’t pass up! Maybe you suddenly have a need for a bungalow because your two-storey doesn’t work due to a health issue. Or perhaps you’ve got an elderly parent who all of a sudden can’t cope living on their own and you’ve decided to share a house to support them. There are as many different reasons why you may need to make a move… waiting for the “right market” could mean you make the wrong decision for your family. Or you may have just found out you’re having triplets lol! The bottom line is there’s no ideal time to move but there may be a very important reason that the time needs to be now for your family.
- You have plans to start a business or a new career! Believe it or not, this can be an important driver in selling sooner rather than later. When qualifying for a mortgage, you want to be solidly employed. Banks don’t generally love lending to new businesses. If you think you’ll be downsizing for the next phase, you might think that waiting ‘till you “launch” is the right thing to do, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. You’re better off to downsize well ahead of time to secure your mortgage. Also, the reduced mortgage payments can help you set aside a nest egg for your next adventure. By the way, this strategy applies to going back to school.
- You simply want to enjoy a different lifestyle. Where you live is more than a financial investment. It’s an emotional one. What’s it worth to you wake up and love where you live? To be able to walk to work perhaps, or be closer to the airport because you’re a frequent traveller. How long do want to wait to improve your lifestyle?
There are reasons you might even sell for MORE at this time of year!
“Despite Interest Rate Worries, Low Inventory Causes Increase in Average Sale Prices.” – REALTORS® ASSOCIATION OF EDMONTON, NOVEMBER 02, 2023
- Less competition.
The number of homes for sale typically decreases as the temperature outside drops. This year inventory is exceptionally low. In fact, the number of homes for sale in the Greater Edmonton Area on October 31st was the lowest for that date in the past 5 years! See this month’s SCHMIDT REPORT for more details. Many sellers make the mistake of taking their home off the market for the holidays, but only takes one buyer to sell your home. What if your best buyer is house hunting over the holidays?
- Fewer shoppers. More serious buyers!
One of the good things about being on the market in the chilly months, is there are fewer lookers and more real buyers! You won’t be inconvenienced by a ton of showings. And you’ll know that it’s worth it taking the time to “set the stage” for the serious showings that do occur.
- More motivated purchasers.
Anyone who’s viewing homes in -30 weather is serious! People buying in the winter have a need to move now too! You’re selling in the winter for a reason. Life goes on, despite the weather! Buyers are the same! Not everyone has the luxury of putting their life on hold ‘till the weather warms up! Family needs, job changes, and “marital adjustments” occur at all times of the year. These buyers are some of the most motivated you’ll find all year!
If you do decide to sell in the fall or winter, there are some important things you can do to give yourself the best opportunity to achieve a great sale:
- Prep! Prep! Prep!
Everyone knows the saying “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.” Nowhere is that more true than in real estate! The first impression these days is online. Your home has to shine in the photos, so don’t take shortcuts getting ready. When it comes to selling, you can never over-prepare! Decluttering is vital in any season, but never more so than the fall and winter months. Buyers won’t be spending much time exploring your backyard garden at this time of year. Days are shorter, so they’ll often be viewing your home after the sun goes down. Plus, buyers and agents are wearing bulky coats as they wander through. Your property needs to feel as large and spacious as possible. There is no room for clutter!
- Provide peace of mind!
Consider going the extra mile to give buyers a sense of security about buying your home. Simple things like having your furnace and duct work cleaned shows your attention to ongoing maintenance. If you have a gas fireplace or appliance, have them checked at the same time. And make sure to clean the glass in the fireplace while the service tech is there. Replace weather stripping on your doors to eliminate drafts, and make sure windows seal well. Keep a copy of the receipts for any work like this so you can provide it to your REALTOR® when you go on the market. All these things will give buyers peace of mind, and they’ll be more likely to give you an offer!
- Put out the Welcome Mat.
We’ve all had the experience of going to someone’s home and getting the feeling they’ve gone out of their way to set the stage for a beautiful evening. The fire is on, maybe some candles are lit, pre-dinner snacks are out, and there’s a delicious aroma coming from the kitchen! Consider buyers as your guests! Put out the welcome mat for them… literally, a new mat is a great idea! Make sure the walks are shoveled, with sand put down if it’s icy. Have the lights on for them so they step into a welcoming atmosphere. Make sure the furnace is set to a comfortable temperature so they can take off their coats in comfort. The more comfortable you make them the longer they’re likely to stay, and that’s a good thing! We want them to “try on the house” so they can think about what it might be like if they moved in! Fresh baking isn’t required, but if you feel so inclined it can’t do any harm! A bowl of granola bars with a note offering them a “pick me up” as they’re out house-hunting would be a nice way to surprise them with kindness. Anything you can do to have your home feel warm, welcoming and memorable is worth the extra effort.
Still think that waiting for spring is best for you? It might be! But before you make that important decision, chat with a trusted advisor at Schmidt Realty Group. We’ll help you figure out the best timing for you and your family!