Selling your house in the offseason can be a real challenge. After all, basic laws of economics dictate that whenever there is a smaller demand for a commodity (your house in this case) in the market, the price at which the commodity can sell at is expected to fall too. Statistically speaking, the best season to sell your house in late spring since most people prefer to move during summers.
That’s not to say that you can’t get a great bargain for your home in the autumn or winters, but the chances of you running into prospective buyers are greatly reduced. Which is why you need to do everything you can to attract the few buyers who are on the lookout for a house during the season.
Here are five ways to increase your chances of selling your house in the offseason:
1 – Keeping your home neat and tidy at all times
Though this applies for all seasons of the year, you need to keep your house’s exteriors neat and tidy as you can. This is especially important during the off-season as your front porch and roof are bound to get blanketed with withering leaves in the autumn and snow in the winters. Keeping the entrance to your house clear automatically makes it more welcoming, which is exactly how you’re going to draw in every prospective buyer inside your house.
2 – Adding seasonal touches to your home
Besides keeping your house tidy, another way to make it stand out among competitors in the market is to make an effort to decorate it according to the season. Seasonal touches to your house’s exterior and interior not only make it more attractive but also signal to prospective buyers that the owner of the house is someone who takes good care of their home and they would hence find this house more well-maintained in comparison to others on the market. There are many things you can use to decorate your house according to the season:
- Decorations according to upcoming festivals (Halloween, Christmas, etc.)
- Seasonal flowers and plants
- Colorful pillows and interior design
- Sweet scents according to the season (Apple and pumpkin in autumn for example)
3 – Taking care of some nagging repair problems
For some people, it may not make sense to spend money in minor repairs around the house if they know they’re not going to be around to use the house in it’s fixed condition. That’s why some people prefer to let buyers renovate the house on their own before moving in. But here’s the problem with this approach: Not fixing up the insulation (something that’d be felt in the cold, off-season), or having a leaky pipe here and there, significantly reduces the value of your house and reduces your bargaining power. On top of that, you even risk losing buyers who’d rather move into a perfectly fixed house rather than waste time fixing up yours. That’s why it’d be better if you patched up all the minor problems before a buyer notices them.
4 – Let there be light
One of the best ways to make your house’s interior more attractive is to make as much natural light as possible enter your house. This is especially true in the cold off-season with limited daylight hours that subconsciously darkens peoples’ moods with the reduction in light. Having a naturally bright interior, therefore, brightens up their day, making them much more likely to look at your house in a positive light. Use lightweight curtains and mirrors to achieve this.
5 – Be flexible
Unless you can wait for the busy real estate season to get a better price for your house, you really can’t be all that choosy with your buyers. Your prospects are limited as is, so having a haughty attitude towards someone whose initial offer (in your eyes at least) is ridiculously low can come back to bite you.
The fact that they even put an offer signals interest and interest in the off-season is in short supply. Place a counter offer (what have you got to lose?), bargain to get what you think is a fair price, throw in a few incentives to sweeten the deal; I’m not saying you should lowball yourself. Just don’t let any opportunity go to waste.