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10 Ways to Heat Up Real Estate Sales This Winter

Though the weather is cooling, selling real estate from now through May is still a hot ticket


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Though the weather is cooling, selling real estate from now through May is still a hot ticket.

Sure, putting a property on the market in the winter requires a little more imagination than putting a property up in May or June, but there is no reason your real estate sale should suffer the winter doldrums. In fact, giving your property sale more thought will serve as an advantage when that "For Sale" sign hits the front yard.

There is also less competition with other buyers and tenants in the winter. But if you get out there and brave the weather you will likely have your pick of great properties.

Whether selling, buying or renting this fall or winter, consider these ten elements to getting the greatest bang for your real estate transaction buck.

Tax Benefits

If you are considering purchasing a property, and you can close by year-end, you might be able to deduct mortgage interest, loan points and property taxes. Also, consider that mortgage interest is typically higher in the early period of a home loan. This could result in a nice last-minute tax break.

Motivated Sellers

Most sellers who are marketing their property during the hectic holiday season have a very good reason to do so. Perhaps a job relocation is coming at the first of the year or maybe they have a new home that will be ready to close in January. Whatever the reason, this is a great time to negotiate with motivated sellers.

Serious Buyers

As the holidays loom, people want to be settled before all the merriment begins. If you are a homeowner who needs to sell during this period, it is nice to know that potential buyers who come to view your home are serious and usually ready to make an offer.

Interest Rates are Low (For Now) 

Although no one has a crystal ball, there are signs that the current low rates will not last forever. Buyers don’t want to be kicking themselves next summer for not acting sooner.

A More Realistic View of the Home

This is the best time of year to get a realistic view of the property. Yes, it’s cold outside.  Does the inside feel warm and toasty? Are the windows drafty?  Are the gutters iced up? These are things you are not likely to think about during the balmy days of summer. 

Light a Fire – Literally

If you are selling your home and a snowstorm is raging outside – light that fire, pump up the heat, have all the lights glowing and maybe bake a fresh batch of cookies. Anything you can do as a seller or landlord to create the sense of warmth and home helps (and works).

There’s Nothing Sweeter Than Concessions

If you are a landlord, consider offering concessions to highly qualified tenants to make sure that your property doesn’t sit vacant during the winter months. As a tenant, you might be able to score free rent, cable or WiFi or even free or reduced utilities. What better incentive to grab your mittens, pull on your boots and get moving.

Save Money on Moving

Moving in the dead of winter can be a money-saving experience. It is a fact that moving companies are slow during the winter months. Most offer great deals and throw in extras like packing up your entire house for a reduced rate. You can stay cozy and warm and let them do the work. Plus, you’re putting people to work who might otherwise be under employed during the holiday season. It can be a win-win.

Marketing, Marketing, Marketing

Pull out all the stops for marketing (which your competition might ignore). Signs, postings and websites are the minimum you can do. Try using photos that elicit a sense of spring and summer.  Consider adding bunches of fresh flowers throughout the home to put the prospective buyer/tenant into a summer frame of mind and ignore the snow piling up outside the windows.

Whatever the reasons, many people face a winter move. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Look at the positives: A lot of real estate moves in the fall and winter months. It is entirely possible to make yours not just be one of them but be one of the best deals of the season.

Holly Toenjes is the president of InTransit Properties and recognized as a seasoned leader in the Denver-area real estate scene. She has sat on a number of business, philanthropic and artist boards and currently invests in and navigates a wide variety of real estate transactions from luxury properties to condominiums, to mountain homes to the rentals.

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