According to the National Association of Realtors, January and February see the fewest home sale closings. A variety of issues, including seasonal weather and less sunlight in the afternoons, can put a damper on potential home buyers coming to look at your home.
So with the market not usually picking up again until April and May, how can you increase the chances of getting your home sold in the first months of the year?
First, because there generally are fewer homes for sale during this time, the competition should be a little thinner. The key is getting your home to stand out - both during realtor and internet searches as well as during home visits.
Here are some ideas to get you started:Focus on the Basics
A clean, tidy look will always help. This means the inside of the house as well as the yard. Curb appeal is essential as the appearance of your home is a buyer's first impression. This applies to photos taken of the house for marketing purposes as well as for in-home visits.
Keep the lawn clean and free of downed limbs and dead grass spots. Also, add some color to the winter yard by picking up a few inexpensive plants for the yard or front porch.
Inside the house, remove extra furniture and display items. You want rooms to look larger. A clutter-free approach will help.
Taking care of needed maintenance and repairs is also essential. Make sure everything that a potential buyer might turn on or open up will work.Outsmart Winter
If it's cold and dark outside, make it warm and bright inside. Stage your home so that your rooms look bigger, brighter, warmer and more appealing.
If people can envision themselves relaxing in your living room or making an evening meal in your kitchen, then you've done your job.
Warm colors, comfortable decorations and even a warm room temperature can add to the "I'm comfortable here" feeling that potential buyers are looking for in a new home.
Also, good lighting in key. Turn on all the lights in the house during evening showings - both inside and out. You want to capture interest from the moment they pull into the driveway. Having bright lights on is one way to do that. You can also encourage daytime showings to take advantage winter's natural light.Get Your Realtor Excited
With less competition in the first few months of the year, your house can stand out. Try to get your realtor excited about taking some extra steps in marketing your home.
Ask if there are any extra marketing opportunities they might suggest, whether it's something they can help you with or something you can do on your own.
Remember, selling your house is often a team effort. Your realtor will work hard for you and provide you a good foundation for marketing your home, but there are tactics you can employ as well. Email your listing to friends and ask them to share with their friends. Get on Facebook. Post a note at work. The end goal is to sell your home quickly and at the right price. That's something you can help with.