As the year rolls on, people considering selling their Waterloo Region home are often stalled by one big question. Is the winter the right time to sell my Waterloo Region home?
While spring and fall are considered peak real estate seasons in Ontario, homes still sell in winter.
If you ask around, you'll likely get a variety of responses to your query. Some may advise you to wait to list your home in order to take advantage of the flurry of activity that typically precedes the spring market.
On the other hand, the winter market may catch you off guard and prove to be a strategic time advantage. I'd venture to guess that if someone comes to look at your property in sub-zero temps, they're most likely serious about closing a sale. Finally, only you can determine when the best time to buy or sell is for you.
When weighing your alternatives, keep the following factors in mind:
Depending on when you want to move, you'll want to consider whether it's better to list now or wait until the spring market starts. If you decide to wait, be aware of the additional costs of owning two residences at once and arranging bridge financing, which will be in addition to the numerous mortgage payments.
Proximity to the property
Depending on where you want to live while your home is on the market and afterward, you may be confronted with a number of expenses, such as property insurance, snow removal, and utilities fees. Working with your insurance carrier to ensure that you have enough property coverage in the case of a sudden or unexpected accident is also vital.
Safety for All
In the sake of public safety, walkways, staircases, and even rooftops must be swept and maintained. If you decide to enter the market immediately and keen purchasers begin touring your property, this is a critical factor to consider. In a moment, we'll go through that in further detail.
Time and attention are both valuable commodities. The sale of your house is a significant transaction in which you should be actively involved. Check with your company to see if they have any relocation guidance or programs to help you with the transfer.
We recommend selecting a real estate agent who is familiar with your circumstances, can help you in making decisions, and can adapt their marketing methods accordingly. Ask them about their experience, services, references, cost structure, availability, and anything else connected to how they intend to market your home.
Keep in mind that in the Waterloo Region, people purchase and sell properties all year. There is no way to guarantee that selling your home during peak market season would result in a higher sale price. Real estate salespeople are well-trained and skilled professionals who can help you navigate the sales process, but you should always remember that you are in control.
Preparing Your Home for a Winter Sale
In the Waterloo Region, truth be told, there are fewer and fewer so called 'bad' times to sell. We no longer experience the slowdown in activity that used to occur during the winter months. Sure, things slow down in late December and early January, but we notice that things perk up again the week after New Year's Day. Keep in mind that inclement weather can slow things down at any time of year, but only by a small amount and for a short time.
However, there are some special preparation and staging considerations to keep in mind when selling your Waterloo Region during the colder months. Here's a look at some of the most important.
Boost Your Home' Winter Curb Appeal
During the winter, people's curb appeal may suffer as a result of their lethargy. The truth is that curb appeal matters just as much in the winter as it does in the summer. Keep in mind that you want homeowners to be able to see the warm, inviting attractiveness of your home from every angle. If it snows, make sure to shovel all of the walks and driveway. If you're having a showing, make sure there's easy access and ice-melt on hand, because an injured guest is the last thing you want.
If there is snow on the ground, clear it away from any architectural landscaping structures so that potential buyers can view what your yard has to offer during the summer months. It's important to clear the snow if you have sheds, decorative patios, retaining walls, or other landscaping so that visitors can see how beautiful your yard can be in the warmer months.
Keep an Eye on the Lights
Because the days are shorter in the winter, many of your weekday home showings will take place at night. Make sure you have plenty of extra lights both inside and outside to brighten things up. Even if you're showing during the day, make sure all draperies are open to let as much natural light in as possible. Path lights are attractive at night and will brighten walkways while also making people feel warm and welcomed.
Declutter and Organize the Entrances
Keeping boots, jackets, and shovels by your doors throughout the winter months is standard practice, but tucking them away during showings and open houses is not. Winter gear should be concealed to keep mudrooms, foyers, and entryways looking clear, clean, and attractive to potential buyers. The fewer of your possessions people see, the more likely they are to be able to imagine their own belongings in their place.
Maintain Your Home's Exterior.
Clearing gutters and drains is a healthy habit for any homeowner, but it's especially important for homesellers because it keeps the property looking and running at its best. This improves curb appeal while lowering the risk of water damage or other issues derailing your sale later in the inspection process.
Heat Things Up
If a prospective home buyer enters into a chilly house, they will instinctively identify your house with the word "cold." In addition, if property buyers are uncomfortable, they may leave the viewing before fully investigating your home. So make sure the heat is turned up to a comfortable level for everyone.
Getting ready to buy a Waterloo Region home, or sell the one you own? Let Team Pinto use their huge local real estate experience and expertise to help you. Contact the award-winning Team Pinto here, or book a free Zoom consultation to discuss your unique Waterloo Region real estate needs here.