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13 Tips That Will Heat Up Your Winter Home Sale

U.S. News & World Report Logo By Teresa Mears of U.S. News & World Report | Slide 1 of 14: Home for sale

13 Tips That Will Heat Up Your Winter Home Sale

When we say ‘tis the season, we’re usually not referring to the season to sell your home. That’s because in regions with seasons, the best time to sell a home is typically the spring and summer.

But even in areas where snow covers the ground for months, it is possible to sell your house in winter, and often for a price as good as you’d get in summer. It just takes a winter strategy to match the winter conditions.

“More often than not, homes in the winter will sell for more money,” says Paul Stone, a Redfin real estate agent in Denver. “There’s less inventory to choose from.” He advises winter sellers to be flexible because it’s hard to predict how long a given home will take to sell and the number of showings could depend on the weather.

Redfin analyzed two years of sales, from 2011 to 2013, in a handful of large cities and found that homes listed in winter sold a week faster and closer to the asking price than those listed in other seasons. The analysis, which included traditionally cold cities like Chicago and Boston, showed homes were also more likely to sell within six months of appearing on the market.

In recent years, when inventory has been low, the winter market has been especially strong, says Nan Shanahan, broker and owner of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate The Shanahan Group in Boston. Homes offered for sale in winter have sold quickly, sometimes above asking price and with multiple offers, she says, because there was so much pent-up demand.

“The people whose homes are on the market [in winter] are usually serious about selling,” she says. And many buyers are serious as well. New Year’s resolutions may include the resolution to buy a home, which brings out buyers at the first of the year, especially if there isn’t much snow. January is also a time for corporate relocations. Buyers without school-age children have no reason to wait until summer to look for a home.

“We start getting calls in January,” Shanahan says. She suggests to clients who want to sell not to wait until spring to list. “I always encourage people to put their homes on sooner rather than later.”

Staging a home for sale is as important in winter as it is in summer, but the tactics are slightly different, since flower beds are absent from the picture but chilly weather is not.

“We have to change gears,” Shanahan says. “It’s a little different when we have snow.”

Here are 13 tips to sell your home in winter:

© Svetlana Larina / Getty
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