Why the Holidays are a Good Time to Sell a house

Why the Holidays are a Good Time to Sell a House

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You’d think the opposite, but selling a house around the holidays is not a bad thing. Most people believe spring is the best time to sell – there are more bidding wars, but also more competition. Wintertime has its advantages and disadvantages too, but around the holidays, the market often comes alive.

If you position your property the right way, market it effectively, and prepare for buyers, you can close fast, maybe in time for the holidays or even the New Year. But why would you want to sell around the holidays? Maybe you can’t wait – relocation, growing family, downsizing, ending forbearance, etc.

Here are five reasons why the holidays are a good time to sell.

1. Buyers are Serious

A lot of buyers in the springtime like to look at houses but are in no rush to purchase. Anyone who shops the market between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is no doubt serious. Think about it: winter holidays are when we plan festivities, visit family, and shop for presents. If a person takes time away from those things to look at a property, chances are they’re ready to buy.

2. Housing Inventory is Low

Since most sellers aim for spring, there is less competition in your market around the winter holidays. Fewer houses for sale increases your chances of buyer interest and getting offers.

Price wars may break out in your neighborhood. So long as the price is right, and you have a lot of potential buyers, your property may only sit on the market for a few weeks, maybe even a few days.

3. End-of-Year Tax Breaks

Tax breaks are one of several reasons buyers are serious towards the end of the year. If a house sale closes on or by December 31, the buyer can deduct mortgage interest, property taxes, and interest costs (of the loan).

Can a home seller get a tax break? Yes, but only if you owned and lived in the house for 2 of the 5 years before sale.

4. More Attention from Realtors

With fewer house listings to be concerned with, your realtor, if you have one, can focus more on your property. They are available for more showings, appointments, and negotiating deals.

The holidays are a busy time for everyone, so hiring a real estate agent may take some of the stress off of you. Otherwise, if you do not want to pay commission, you can sell For Sale By Owner (FSBO).

5. Festive Time of Year

Believe it or not, the holidays spark warm feelings in buyers. They visit a house that is staged for comfy, homey vibes, appealing to their emotions. So they are more likely to fall in love with the feelings the house conjures and make an offer.

In contrast, during the spring, there’s a lot of foot traffic and distractions, and buyers cannot focus during a walkthrough.

Want a Guaranteed Sale By or Before Christmas / New Year’s?

Sometimes you cannot wait for a traditional buyer. You have your reasons to sell now, before the end of the year, and you cannot afford to wait. If that is the case, consider selling to a real estate investor for cash.

Most investors make a cash offer on a property “as-is,” without repairs or renovations. Even if the property is damaged, vacant, or mid-renovation, they will still buy it. They do not require traditional sale warranties, an appraisal or inspection, and since they pay with cash, there’s no lengthy mortgage approval process.

You (the seller) choose the closing date. It can be in several months, giving you time to pack and enjoy the holidays, or in 30 days or less, if you’re ready to move right now.

Steps to Sell a Multi-Family Property

7 Steps to Sell a Multi-Family Property

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Selling a multi-family home is more difficult than a single-family because it involves more people. A multi-family property can be a multi-generational home, where families live together and share expenses and responsibilities, or it can be a dwelling with multiple units, each one with a family. We will discuss selling the former.

Step 1: Get Everyone on Board with the Sale

If you share your house with your parents, grandparents, sister or brother and their family, it’s not just your best interests at stake. Everyone has a voice in what happens to where they live. Will your extended family move with you into your new home? Will they move someplace else? Or maybe they’d like to buy the house from you – if that’s an option.

Discussing the house sale together is also a necessity if more than one person’s name is on the title. All owners must agree to the sale.

Step 2: Research the Market and Best Time to Sell

Market conditions often change. Determine if you’re in a buyer’s or seller’s market, and inquire with your real estate agent if it would be better to wait for a seller’s market.

Also, if you have the option and are not pressed to move right away, decide when you want to sell. Most people are of the opinion that spring is the best time for a house sale. But every season has its benefits and drawbacks.

We are still in the fall season, and though the market tends to cool down this time of year, that does not mean you’ll miss out on an opportunity. Buyers are actually more serious, and there’s less competition at the turn of winter.

Step 3: Get an Inspection and Make Repairs (Optional)

This step is optional because you can make repairs now, or negotiate them with a buyer later, after the inspection. The good news is you have more contributors living under your roof to help with repairs.

Step 4: Price Competitively

Pricing your property is important but tricky. Price it too high, and buyers won’t even make you an offer. Price it too low, and they suspect something is wrong with the property, or you’ll miss out on thousands of dollars.

You can do the following to help price your house:

  • Research comparable properties
  • Hire an appraiser
  • Talk with your real estate agent

Sites like Zillow or Redfin do not always provide accurate estimates because they lack information on your property. However, we can give you a fair market offer, based on the information you provide us. Just click below to request your free offer.

Step 5: Clean and Stage the House

When buyers visit for walkthroughs, they want to picture their lives in the house. Too much clutter impedes the vision and makes rooms appear smaller.

Working together, you and your family can pack and move belongings into storage. Whatever’s left you can donate or throw away to make your eventual move less of a hassle.

Be sure to do a mass cleaning inside and outside of the house and stage rooms to encourage the buyer’s vision.

Step 6: Market Effectively

If you sell your house For Sale By Owner (FSBO), you’ll have to list the property and market its availability all on your own. Potential buyers are found online nowadays, through property listing sites and social media. It requires constant attention, updating details and answering inquiries. If you have a good real estate agent, they will do all the work for you.

Step 7: Clear Out During Walkthroughs

The best thing you can do to get an offer is clear out of the house during showings. Let your realtor show off the house, while you and your family go out for the day.

Sell Your Multi-Family Property without Stress

If you want to sell your multi-family property without cleanings, showings, or inspections, consider accepting an offer from a real estate investor. Most investors pay cash for a property “as-is,” be it damaged, neglected, or have a great big mess inside. Investors will even buy a house with discarded belongings, if you want to lighten your move.

Investors do not require traditional sale warranties or inspections, and if you don’t have a realtor, there’s no commission fee. You can even sell the house virtually, without the investor ever visiting the property. All you have to be concerned with is the closing day, which is up to your discretion and can be in several months, 30 days or less.

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Easy-To-Do Landscaping Tips to Help Sell Your House

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What is the best way to go about beautifying your yard? There are so many variables with do-it-yourself landscaping, such as budget, climate, level of skill and knowledge, and personal tastes. Maybe you’re landscaping for your own use and enjoyment, or to help sell your house. Either way, here are some easy landscaping tips to help you get started.

Before You Plant, Sketch

It is incredible the difference a well-laid-out plan makes when landscaping. Research ideas and note what you like or do not like. Sketch a design to help you plan each phase in a series of steps. You do not need to be an artist; a basic sketch of what goes where is enough. This way, you can tackle one section of your yard at a time, keeping you from feeling overwhelmed.

Year-Round Appeal

Your goal is to plant a yard with year-round interest: this means flowering plants in the spring and summer, fall foliage in autumn, and good makeup in winter. Consider these options:

  • Bulbs and flowering trees in spring;
  • Colorful annuals and a lush lawn in summer;
  • Perennials and deciduous trees in the fall; and
  • Evergreens in winter.

Evergreens are popular because they retain their leaves and needles and green appeal all year round.

Layer Flowerbeds

To create vibrant pops of color and a sense of unity across your yard, layer your flowerbeds. Layering means you plant the tallest plants in the back, and each forward row is shorter. It also provides shape and texture to your flowerbeds, making them a pleasant visual focal point.

Connect Points of Interest with a Path

Lay walking paths between high-traffic areas, like the back door and garage, or the curb and front door. Also, protect your lawn from trampling feet by putting down attractive walkways of wood or stone. These, then, connect elements of your landscape for easy viewing and enjoyment.

Incorporate Hardscaping

Hardscaping refers to any decorative or practical structure, like a driveway, fence, or patio. These features help balance and tie together the softer features of your yard. For example, fences help frame your yard and contain all the elements to one visual space.

There is a heightened interest among house buyers to interact with the outdoors. A patio or deck helps tie the inside with the outside of the house and elevates your backyard. You can recoup 75% of a deck’s cost upon sale of the house, while for a patio, the return ranges anywhere from 30% to 60%.

Clean and Maintain

Both your front yard and backyard need attention, not just every season, but at least every other week. This includes regular weeding, mowing, pruning, and raking of leaves. Consider hiring professionals to do the maintenance if you lead a busy life.

The good news is regular lawn care recovers an estimated 267% of the upkeep costs when you sell your house.

Save Money, Sell to an Investor

If you are getting ready to sell, you can forgo landscaping and other house projects by selling to an investor. Most investors will make a cash offer on the house AS-IS, without repairs, renovations, or landscaping. You can enjoy a quick closing and spend your money instead on beautifying the outside of your next home.

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Ways to Elevate Your Backyard (and Outdoor Spaces)

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Your backyard is just as important as the interior of your home. If you are thinking of selling in the future, 67% of buyers say a private outdoor space is essential in their home search. They want a safe space for pets and children to play and to entertain and promote healthy living. Here are 7 ideas to elevate your backyard and outdoor spaces.

1. Build a Patio or Deck

The average ROI for a professional deck is around 75%, and between 30% to 60% for a patio. What’s the difference? A patio is paved, while a deck is a platform made from lumber or composite. Both increase the square footage of your house and create a space in the fresh air to visit with guests. You can also add furniture or a creative cover, like an awning, pergola, or canopy, to your deck or patio to enhance the space.

2. Outdoor Kitchen

If you love entertaining and cooking, you will love an outdoor kitchen. Rather than go in and out of the house, you can serve and entertain guests seamlessly in one place. Alfresco kitchens are fully functional and can include cabinetry, a grill, bar, wine fridge, or wood-fired pizza oven.

3. Swimming Pool

A water escape is great if you live in a hot climate. Special features, like pool seats, waterfalls, and lighting, also enhance your pool’s appearance. Just know: a pool does not increase your home value any more than 7%, so only put one in if you plan to enjoy it for a couple years.

4. Fire Pit

Spark up warmth and memories around an outdoor fireplace or fire pit. These require little maintenance, are tasteful, and great for every occasion and season. You can spend hours of quality time around one, making conversation and delicious s’mores, and get a sense of the great outdoors in your own backyard.

5. Cultivate a Garden

Gardening cultivates good physical and mental health. Gardens elevate your outdoor spaces with greenery and colorful flowers. You can also plant a produce garden. It will give you fresh, organic food, and you’ll feel good about the fruits of your labor.

6. Build a Better Fence

Good fences make great neighbors. You care about your privacy, right? You want to feel safe and know your activities are your own, and not privy to snoopy neighbors. Build a tall, sturdy fence to contain your backyard oasis and keep children and pets safe.

7. Add Ambient Lighting

The right lights and lighting features can make your outside feel like an extension of your home. They help highlight other features, and promote a sense of awareness and safety at night.

Elevate Your Sale, Sell to an Investor

Elevating your outdoor spaces is great if you plan on living in the house for the next three to five years. Otherwise, don’t waste money on what you won’t enjoy. Instead, elevate your sale by selling to an investor.

Most investors make a cash offer on a house AS-IS. Your backyard can be a brown plot, dead and unkempt. An investor will still buy the house and fix the outdoor spaces themselves. The interior of your house can also be neglected or mid-renovation, and an investor will still make an offer. You can enjoy a quick closing and use the money to elevate the backyard of your next house.

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How to Improve Curb Appeal Before Selling a House

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Curb appeal makes the first impression as a buyer pulls up to your house. A beautiful outside accomplishes four things:

  • It sets the mood;
  • Invites people to see the inside of the house;
  • Increases home value; and
  • Makes it easier to sell.

Here are seven ways you can improve curb appeal before selling your house.

1. Upgrade Your Mailbox

If your mailbox is on the road, it loses appeal after so many years of direct sunlight, bad weather, and slow degradation. You can replace your mailbox for as little as $20. Just be mindful of city and community regulations when you put in a new mailbox.

2. Paint the Front Door

Painting your front door can add brightness and a pop of personality. A gallon of paint starts at $30. Choose a bold color that makes your house stand out and compliments the rest of the house colors.

3. Dress Up the Front Porch

The front stoop or porch connects your interior to the exterior and provides an additional living space. For this reason, you want to create a welcoming, functional entryway. Keep things symmetrical by placing identical lanterns or potted plants on both sides of the front steps. Install a porch swing or add outdoor furniture, which you can find cheap at antique or second-hand stores. Be sure to put out the “Welcome” mat too.

4. Replace Lighting

Lights make an entryway safe and appealing. When choosing light fixtures, make sure they match the style of your house and provide adequate brightness. You can also add accent lighting to trees or a walking path to increase curb appeal at night.

5. Landscape

Your front yard creates the bulk of curb appeal. Depending on the season you’re in, you may do more or less work. Springtime is often the best time to do serious landscaping, including pruning the bushes, weeding the beds, laying fresh mulch, and mowing the grass. Spring is also the best time to plant flowers to add some color to an otherwise green yard.

6. Pressure-wash

Power-wash the house siding, walkways, and driveway to remove dirt, grime, and mold. You will be delighted, maybe even surprised, to see the actual color of these surfaces once the stains are gone. Be mindful of caulking and the roof, though, since pressure-washing can cause damage.

7. Perform Maintenance

The outside of your house takes a beating. Storms and age make it deteriorate. Be sure to:

  • Replace broken fencing, railings, and cracked siding;
  • Stain the porch, clean windows, window screens, and gutters;
  • Inspect the roof too, and make repairs.

Instead of All This Work, Sell As-Is to an Investor

If you do not have the time to spruce, landscape, or make repairs, consider selling to an investor. Most investors will make a cash offer on a house as-is. They do not mind if the front yard is overgrown or brown and dying. You can enjoy a quick closing and focus your time and energy on the curb appeal of your next house.

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How to Prepare Your House For Sale in the Spring

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Springtime is often the best time to sell a house. The real estate market sees a rise in inventory and more buyers search for a new home. To stand out from the competition, here are six tips to prepare your house for sale in the spring.

Spruce Up the Front Yard

When buyers pull up to your house, the outside is their first impression of the property. You want that impression to be good, so take the time to landscape. Prune the bushes, weed the garden, rake leaves, lay fresh mulch, and mow the grass. Also, add a pop of color with bright perennials.

Transform the Front Door

The front door is an extension of the landscape. Make it clean, elegant, and inviting. Paint the door, replace faded door numbers, and power wash the front stoop. If it rains, put out an umbrella stand so buyers keep umbrellas outside, and not drip on your floors. Finally, put out the “Welcome” mat.

Perform Seasonal Maintenance

Buyers want to see a well-kept house. If they see overgrowth, stains and dust, the notion to buy will deter them. For this reason, real estate agents rank these five items as must-fixes in the spring:

  • Clean rain gutters
  • Test the HVAC unit and change filters
  • Inspect the roof
  • Clean siding
  • Power wash driveway and walking paths

Additional items to consider include washing the windows and wiping down all shelves and cabinets. You might also polish hardwood floors and add fresh coats of paint to the walls and outside of the house.

Declutter Spaces

Buyers want to envision themselves in your house, but junked-up spaces prevent this. Remove the leaning tower of moving boxes. Throw out unopened mail and scattered papers. Put away toiletries, medicine, and other personal items. Go through every room with a donation box and fill it with excess clothing and knick-knacks. This not only frees up spaces, but also makes moving easy with less stuff to pack.

Note: your house must stay clean for every showing. Make sure new clutter does not accumulate, and every space stays immaculate. If you are busy, you can hire professional cleaning services.

Eliminate Odors

The only thing worse than touring a messy home is smelling it. Funky odors deter everyone. Rather than go overboard with scented sprays, take the time to deep clean. Steam carpets and draperies, furniture too. Scrub counters, clean dishes, and remove laundry piles.

The toughest odors to eliminate include pets and cigarette smoke. As you clean, open windows and turn on fans to increase airflow. Add a few drops of essential oils, like lemon or orange, to a mister and spray each room. Till you sell, concentrate smoking habits outside. Stow litter boxes outside, or ask a friend or family member to keep your pet for a while.

Take Photos

Over 95% of buyers search for their next home online. In case your house does not sell right away, but remains listed through the summer to the end of the year, take photos. Photograph the lovely interior, but more importantly the exterior and landscaping. Your yard looks its best in the spring, and you want online shoppers to see this.

Rather Than Do All This Work, Sell to an Investor

If you want to forgo these efforts and sell your house as-is, consider selling it to an investor. Most investors will make a cash offer on a house, regardless of how it looks or smells. They do not care about clutter or messes. You can enjoy a quick closing and spend the spring moving into your new home.

pros and cons of selling a house in the spring

The Pros and Cons of Selling a House in the Spring

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It is often said that spring is the best time to sell a house. Indeed, March, April, and May are the most profitable and speediest months to sell property, in most markets. Every season has its pros and cons though. Keep these factors in mind if you intend to sell this spring or next.

Positives

1. Bidding Wars

In spring, buyers flood the market and competition is fierce. When several buyers are interested in a property, this sparks a bidding war. You then evaluate and choose the safest, sweetest, and fastest deal. Better still, if buyers continue to outbid each other, you stand a better chance of selling your house at or above its asking price.

2. Quick Sales

Spring sees a lot of action in real estate, and houses do not stay on the market long. Buyers want to close before the end of the season. This gives them the summer to move, when the kids are out of school and the weather is still decent. Their desire to close fast increases the likelihood that your house will sell sooner than later.

3. Curb Appeal

The sunny days and longer evenings trigger buyers to schedule several walkthroughs a day. When they drive up, the first thing they see is the exterior of the home. Assuming you take good care of the yard, spring brings lush grass, fresh foliage, and flowers in bloom. This enhances the look of the house and makes a great first impression on buyers.

Negatives

1. Competition

Competition in the spring market is fierce for sellers too. You compete with all the other houses for sale on the market. Thoughtful staging and constant cleaning helps your house stand out during walkthroughs. However, a house that needs repairs or is behind in maintenance, or maybe outdated, is often passed up by buyers.

2. Everyone is Busy

You are in a rush to sell. The buyer is in a rush to close. Any professional involved in real estate is going to be busy. This means there are tight windows for inspections, appraisals, and mortgage dealings. There is no time to drag your feet. If you get three offers on your house, choose a deal quickly and get the ball rolling.

3. Picky Buyers

Buyers are aware of the competition and how desperate sellers are to sell a house. They can, therefore, afford to be picky and make demands. They can ask you to make repairs or provide other incentives. Incentives include paying a portion of the closing costs, or the first year of a home warranty.

Sell to an Investor

If you want to forgo buyer negotiations, repairs and incentives, consider selling to an investor. Most investors will make a cash offer on a house regardless of its conditions. There are also fewer steps when selling to an investor. You can enjoy a quick closing and move out before the spring season is over.

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When is the Best Time to Sell a House?

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Knowing when to sell a house can help you sell fast, for the most profit and less stress. Timing often depends on your location, and understanding the seasonal trends in the real estate market can help you decide when is the best time to sell.

Spring

PROS: For many markets, spring is the peak time to sell. Homes sell faster and for more money in the first two weeks of May than any other month. The days are warmer, longer, and buyers have more money after tax refunds. Buyers are also eager to close before school lets out, so they have the summer to move.

CONS: Springtime blooms competition. The market floods with homes for sale, and to stand out, sellers typically offer buyer compensations. There are fewer walkthroughs if the weather is still cold and wet, and should you sell fast, it can be difficult to move if the kids are still in school.

Summer

PROS: Summer is a great time to sell if you live in a popular tourist destination. Buyers looking for a summer home or new retirees looking to downsize eagerly shop the market, feeling a sense of urgency to close fast before the fall season.

CONS: Summer vacation can mean a slow buyer turnout. Buyers are out traveling, having fun, and the few buyers you attract may demand more concessions and features, sensing the lack of competition and your desire to sell.

Fall

PROS: Fall is neither the best nor the worst time to sell a house. The market slows down, so there is less competition, and buyers feel motivated to close before the winter holidays. Moreover, the costs for repairs and renovations are at their lowest.

CONS: In autumn, leaves fall, but buyer demands rise. Most buyers are preparing for the coming holidays and prefer to spend their money on gifts and festivities rather than a new home unless you offer them enticing incentives.

Winter

PROS: Winter is not a bad time to sell a house. There is often less competition, and buyers are highly motivated to close before the year-end to take advantage of tax breaks. Should you live in a resort area or ski town, you will meet more buyers looking for winter homes, but they may have more demands.

CONS: Winter is the holiday season. Buyers are engaged in seasonal fun. If you try to sell, you will have to depersonalize living spaces and decorate less, and you may have to navigate walkthroughs with your family over. The days are colder, shorter, and winter is the worst time to make repairs and renovations.

Life happens, and you may not have a choice as to when you sell. If you need to sell fast and skip buyer negotiations, consider selling your house to an investor. Most investors will make a cash offer regardless of the time of year, weather, or market trends. You can enjoy a quick closing and find time for your next move.