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Tips for Selling Your Home in the Winter

November 15, 2011 | Household Moves

Selling Your Home in the Winter – Full Article from 

Written By: Dave Carpenter / AP

Just your luck — you have to sell your home in winter, the slowest and dreariest sales season of all.

But cheer up. You can use staging, the reduced competition and some seasonal opportunities to your advantage.

“You wouldn’t necessarily choose to sell your home in winter,” says Katie Severance, a broker for ReMax in Upper Montclair, N.J. “But there are certain extra steps you can take to really help your chances.”

Many homeowners pull their houses off the market by year’s end if they haven’t sold. That’s understandable.

The period from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day is the slowest time of year for home shopping as people focus on family and holidays.

The weather, too, helps put the chill in sales in most locations between now and spring. January and February see the fewest home sale closings, according to the National Association of Realtors, with the market not fully gearing up until April and May. Another big factor: Homebuyers with children generally time their purchases so moving doesn’t interfere with the school year.

Sometimes a job transfer, lease or personal circumstances require plunging into making a sale in the dead of winter. Although that means fewer buyers in most areas, as a seller you’ll have a chance to stand out in a thinned-out field of competitors.

Here are some tips to lessen the chances your home will languish on the market:

Remember the basics

Think warm and cozy

Neatly shoveled paths make a difference

Good lighting is essential

Tasteful holiday decorations can help

Sources: msnbc, Associated Press

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