Selling a Home Out of Season

Selling a home these days is a challenge, and selling one "out of season" even more so. The Wall Street Journal published an article on December 23rd by June Fletcher titled, "Tips for Selling a Home Out of Season."

Ms. Fletcher, in response to a reader's question, writes about things to do to make a listing more appealing in the winter. She states that you can turn the season to your advantage if you emphasize the qualities that make your house more inviting than the competition.

Some tips are:

Keep up with the maintenance.--Buyers will notice icicles that form when gutters aren't cleaned and will feel the drafts from windows that haven't been weather-stripped.

Take down holiday decorations.--You want your house to have mass appeal, so if you live in a diverse area with many different religious beliefs, forego the Christmas decorations and stick to hot cider and a roaring fire (if you have a fireplace) during an open house.

Emphasize energey efficiency.--Buyer's are always interested in a home's operating costs, but that issue is even more on their minds in the winter. List out everything that's been done to the home to make it more energy efficient.

Lighten up.--Make your house as bright as possible. Have the windows cleaned and get rid of heavy draperies.

Show other seasons.--Help buyers visualize what your house will look like in other seasons. Hang or arrange photos of your house with the plants in full bloom, etc.

Update Web photos regularly.--Buyers can immediately spot a stale listing if the photo is out of season.

Click here for the link to Ms. Fletcher's story at the Wall Street Journal. Please note, the link will only be good for about a week.

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