Realtor: Winter is best time to sell your home

Holly Goode, associate broker and realtor for Coldwell Banker in Front Royal shares her tips for successful house selling. Courtesy photo

FRONT ROYAL – While the location rule may be set in stone, according to Holly Goode, associate broker and Realtor for Coldwell Banker, winter is prime time to put real estate on the market.

“People have always had this mindset of selling their homes in the spring,” Goode said. “But in actuality, winter is the best time to sell because buyers are more motivated: they’re moving out of necessity and aren’t just looking for fun.”

While the idea of house hunting in below-freezing temperature isn’t ideal for everyone, Goode said homes listed in February or early March usually sell faster than those listed in the spring.

“It’s always about supply and demand,” Goode said. “Right now it’s a sellers market.”

For those looking to move forward and sell their home, Goode shared her favorite strategies that will help make it a hot seller this winter and attract more buyers:

• Consider a pre-sale home inspection: An inspector will be able to give you a good indication of the trouble areas that will stand out to potential buyers and you’ll be able to make necessary repairs before open houses begin.

• Clean, clean, clean: Reduce clutter and store your least-used items, such as extra furniture, out-of-season clothes, toys and seasonal décor so that rooms look larger in photographs. Remove personal effects and irreplaceable items. Move items off the premise into a storage unit. Clean the home from top to bottom. Paint walls a neutral color including tan, off white or gray. Notice how the home smells. Target the bathrooms and make your bed. Consider following the feng shui concepts in staging to better center the home and its energy or “life force.”

• Replacement estimates: Walk around the home and take photos. Notice what the camera sees. Replace minor damages and get replacement estimates for costly items. For items that have been replaced such as a roof, configure a list of improvements for the past five years to leave on the counter top for buyers to read.

• Locate warranties: Gather up warranties, guarantees and other manuals for electrical appliances, washer and dryer and any other items that will remain with the home. Prior planning will help reduce stress and scrambling at closing.

• Curb appeal: Take exterior photos and do a drive by. Notice if the home needs plotted plants or a flag to give it a more warm and fuzzy feeling. Take note of the impression or vibe you want the house to give off. Care for the lawn and manicure the bushes. Update outdoor lighting. Buy a new mailbox. Polish, paint or replace house numbers for better visibility. Place a seasonal wreath on the front door and purchase a new doormat.

Goode became a Realtor four years ago. She has a passion for education and keeps up with the trends.

“My favorite clients to work with are the first-time home buyers,” she said. “I love sharing in the excitement of their first big purchase and helping them start their future.”