Is a Winter Season Home Sale the Right Time for You?

Photo by Emil Vilsek on Unsplash

Even in northern New Jersey, which has a healthy real estate market, it’s hard to know whether or not seasons play in the home sale cycle. With the cold temperatures and inevitable snow and ice, many homeowners—and home buyers—may feel it’s better to wait until spring.

Not so fast!

There are actually strong reasons to put your home on the market now. The common belief is that the spring market—when birds are chirping and gardens are blooming—is the best time to buy and sell real estate but here are some good reasons to put your house on the market in the late fall or winter.

  1. You attract more serious buyers. Really—these people are on the hunt and want a house now. Motivated buyers, for whatever their reason, are always searching for the right home in the right town for them. The winter months also gives these buyers a chance to scope out potential neighborhoods when other things are going on besides landscaping and swimming pools. They may love or abhor lots of holiday lights, for example, and want to see what goes on around the block during December and January (or even February for Valentine’s Day and March for St. Patrick’s Day). Or they may have concerns about whether the neighbors are keeping sidewalks clear of snow and ice (and whether the town snowplows are doing a good job).
  2. Wintertime staging possibilities. A well-staged home attracts buyers and offers, and winter greenery, cozy throws and blankets, and the aroma of pumpkin spice can be very alluring.
  3. Competition is lighter. It’s all about supply and demand. With less “for sale” signs around town, yours will catch attention and yield calls to the real estate agency to see the house. Fewer homes on the market drives up buyer demand, increases the probability of showings and with those, strong offers.
  4. Speedier transactions (and less stress). Think of the real estate market as a highway; with fewer “cars” in the buying lane, there are no processing traffic jams for all parties involved and transactions can move along more quickly. Mortgage lenders have fewer loans to process, real estate attorneys are dealing with a lighter closing load, and home inspectors are more available.
  5. Your real estate agent is always ready! Good real estate agents know that any time of year is a good time to list a home and bring buyers around. Marketing tactics may shift with the seasons and these professionals are ready with tips to help sell your home at any time of year.

If you’re thinking of putting your home up for sale now, or are looking for a home in Essex County or throughout northern New Jersey, the real estate agents at CENTURY 21 Cedarcrest Realty are ready to help. Contact us at (973) 228-1050 to get started.

4 Savvy Home Pricing Tricks

Selling your home in today’s market may not be as easy as you had hoped, but there are things you can do speed the process along and make buyers feel like they are getting a good deal. An experienced realtor can help with this, as they can inform you of what other properties in your area are selling for, and which price range will attract the most attention from prospective buyers. They may also recommend these four tricks.

1. Make it look like a deal.

People make assumptions within a fraction of a second, so you need to make your price look attractive right off the bat. For instance, you know that $1.99 looks better than $2.00, even though it’s only a penny less. So, think in these terms. Also, research has found that buyers perceive prices to be lower when numbers on the right are declining from lower numbers, such as 2 to 1 rather than 9 to 8.

2. List higher than what you’ll accept.

Buyers always feel like they’re getting a deal when they have some wiggle room. That said, always price your home higher than what you’ll actually accept. If you need some reference prices, share the price of competing homes in your area.

3. List at a precise number.

Another interesting part of the human brain is that we tend to associate exact prices as a bargain, whereas rounded numbers indicate quality. Selling your home at $395,530 rather than $396,000 can make it look like you’ve thought long and hard about what your home is worth and aren’t willing to negotiate much more. This trick can be helpful if you’re in a tough market with few bids.

4. Make lowered house prices obvious.

If you do have to lower your price, make sure that it’s easy for prospective buyers to compute. They will be more inclined to jump on the property because they may perceive it as being a bargain and think that others will be making a bid as well. You can specify the dollar discount or drop the price by $5,000 to $10,000, leaving the last three digits the same.