4 Tips to Help Sell Your House in Jacksonville this Winter
For many, Winter is a time of family, food, and festivities. But for some homeowners the Winter season brings only anxiety, stress, and uncertainty alongside the cold. The reason? Home sales tend to slump in the colder months, with December and January historically being a period of low sales volume, and even lower pricing.
In fact, most markets in the United States see prices lower in January than any other month out of the year. Great if you’re buying, a nightmare if you have to sell.
Why don’t houses sell well in the winter?
There’s some data science behind the poor sales performance which comes with Winter, but ultimately the main reasons tend to be more human and personal. Holidays are a big contributor. For most, if you aren’t traveling, you are hosting.
Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years, and many other Holidays fall in the months between November and January. It’s hard to host a turkey dinner when your house is staged, and trying to schedule a closing around office closures and vacation time is a challenge. As a result, many buyers simply decide to wait until early Spring when there’s not as much going on to make a big lifestyle change like purchasing a new home or selling their old one.
For others money is the concern. Holiday shopping can be expensive, and family vacations cost a pretty penny. Buyers can be uncomfortable putting down a large deposit or down payment when other expenses are quickly adding up. Sellers may have a harder time with expenses around staging, photographing and repairing their homes.
Regardless, the outcome is the same. Home sales slow. Fewer buyers means more competition for sellers. More competition means selling your home for a lower price.
Should I just wait until spring?
If you own a home in Jacksonville, and you’ve been considering selling, you might want to hold off until Spring to put your home out on the market. But there are a number of things to consider before you make any decision about your sales timeline.
- Taxes & Insurance will increase in the new year as new premiums and statements are issued.
- Home values fluctuate. Our market is unstable due to recent interest rate hikes and general inflation. It’s possible that a few months difference could mean thousands in value and equity.
- If you have a strong motivation for selling such as: foreclosure, back taxes, deferred maintenance, or bad tenants, it may not be feasible to wait a few more months for a better time.
Here’s some tips to help you sell in Winter
1. Don’t over decorate.
It can be tempting to “deck the halls” with lights and shiny decor, but a buyer is trying to imagine themselves in your space. They may not share your passion for the holidays, and additional clutter may make the unique aspects of your home less visible. When thinking about selling a home the motto should be “less is more.” You don’t want an empty house, but elegant simple staging will make your home much more approachable to potential buyers.
2. Keep it clean.
When you host a big dinner party it can be tempting to leave the dishes for the next morning. But when your house is on the market a potential buyer might be a phone call to your real estate agent away. You don’t want to miss out on potential showings because your home isn’t ready. Keep it spotless and free of clutter. Nobody wants to think that the home that they are buying isn’t being kept up. And despite the fact that you may keep your house in pristine condition 364 days out of the year, your buyers only have one impression of your home.
3. Highlight the features that make it cozy.
Does your house have a fireplace? A large dining area? A good spot to snuggle up and read a book? How about a nice fire pit outside? Think of the things you like to do during the Holiday season. If your home caters to them, be sure to highlight them in your listing descriptions, photos, and even with your staging. Try to frame your thoughts around how a prospective buyer would imagine their lifestyle if they owned your home next Winter.
4. Be conscious of holiday closings
Getting a house on the market takes a lot of work. Staging, cleaning, and photographing can be booked weeks out, and with employees taking more time off than any other time in the year, it can be difficult to find an available time slot. Be sure to schedule these services weeks or months in advance, and be aware of when they won’t be available. The same goes for closings. Law firms, title companies, and even the local courthouse may close for days at a time. Be sure that you schedule your sale closing at a time when those services will be open and available.
The easiest way to sell your house in Jacksonville this Winter
If your whole goal is to sell your house fast in Jacksonville, there is another option for you. One that isn’t affected by the seasons. You can always sell your Jacksonville house to a cash home buyer. And there are some great benefits if you choose to do so.
- They can close quickly any time of the year. Most reputable home buying companies can close in less than 30 days, even during the Holiday season.
- They pay cash for your home. That puts money in your pocket faster. Perfect if you plan to do some extra holiday shopping or want to splurge on that big family vacation.
- They pay all closing costs. Most sellers have to pay between 7% and 9% of their home’s final selling price to their realtor and to cover other closing fees. A cash buyer pays these for you, and you don’t need a realtor, meaning you can earn more from your sale.
- No showings, staging, or cleaning. You won’t have to spend any time prepping this Holiday season. No open houses, no strangers in your home.
- No repairs. Save cash and stay warm by letting the buyer take care of the repairs.