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Photo: Courtesy of freeimages.com - Florida may not suffer in winter home sales as much as colder climates, but it does slow a bit. Winter decorations can help make your home more inviting over the holidays, as long as you don't overdo it.
Winter Park / Maitland Observer Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015 6 years ago

Christina Rordam: Sprucing up to avoid the winter slump

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When is the best time to sell my home? This is a common quandary for home sellers and the answer is the perfect time is never and right now.
by: Christina Rordam

When is the best time to sell my home? This is a common quandary for home sellers and the answer is the perfect time is never and right now. There is never a perfect time for anything in this life anyway, just give it a couple decades and you’ll learn that waiting until you are ready to do something is good. Waiting for the perfect moment is setting yourself up to fail because there is no perfect moment. Winter is coming (already here for those northern states and their pesky “snow”) and it begs the common query: Is winter a good time to sell a home? Yes. In Florida we sell year round as the weather permits it. In fact some buyers may wait until the winter to look for their Florida home, as this is when they are vacationing and or visiting family for the holidays.

Summer and spring are known to have the highest number of closings, and that is true of Central Florida as well. This does not mean however that you are best served by waiting to list your home until the spring/summer season. With some sellers waiting until then to list you can actually stand out from the crowd by listing and selling in the fall and winter seasons. My phone has been ringing off the hook with no sign of stopping with buyers and sellers, and other top local agents are reporting the same. I have winter and fall closings every year and counsel my sellers not to be afraid to list during this time.

The winter sales slump can be real, I just don’t see it having as much of an impact as it would states with well, actual seasons! So if you want to sell now, do it! The keys to your winter wonderland closing are simple and similar to the steps you would take during the rest of the year. Decorate as you would normally too. I know I know, I’ve told you before to depersonalize your home to sell it meaning take down family pictures and other personalized items. I say minimize what you can, but don’t get worked up removing any trace of your family from your home in holiday season. Selling shouldn’t mean you don’t celebrate and be festive.

It’s much more important to make your home as available as you can by having an electronic lockbox and/or accommodating qualified buyers as much as possible, keyword: qualified. I’ve experienced more calls than usual from buyers wanting to view homes without pre-qualifying with a lender first, and as a seller you do not want to allow looky loos with no pre-qualification letter or proof of funds into your home, especially during the holidays as they may be casing your home. This is not the most common thing, but it does happen and the holidays can make desperate people more desperate. So just get that pre-approval or proof of funds first or ask their agent to do so prior to setting up a viewing.

While holiday decorations are fine, clutter is still not. Definitely de-clutter your abode and maximize the appeal of your space by storing or removing bulky pieces of furniture or donate things you no longer need. Tis the season! Stay in the habit of keeping things “showing ready” at the end of the day and avoid strong odors from pets and cooking whenever possible. I highly recommend a Scentsy warmer, essential oil diffuser with a pleasant scent such as lavender or a candle prior to/during a showing. I personally love Yankee Candle and DW Home for candles; just don’t leave them burning unattended. Diffusers or wax warmers work just as well. The key is to pick a neutral clean and refreshing scent; vanilla pumpkin and spruce are great for winter too.

Going away for the holidays? Simply ask your agent for an electronic lockbox or to accompany all showings and make plans for pets if they are staying behind with a sitter. Just because you aren’t home for the holidays doesn’t mean buyers can stop by and take a peek!

While the winter sales slump can be real, it’s not a major factor here in sunny Central Florida. If you are ready to list and sell your home, don’t wait for the perfect moment, go out there and create it.

Christina Rordam is a licensed Realtor and Central Florida native with 10 years experience helping Orlando area buyers and sellers achieve their Real Estate dreams. She is a member of the Orlando Regional Realtor Association’s Top Producer Club and holds the CDPE, CNE and CSP designations. Contact Christina at 407-928-8294, [email protected] and view homes online at ChristinaSellsOrlando.com

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