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Home Selling in the Off-Season

Home For Sale
Posted at 5:00 AM, Jan 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-04 11:52:41-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) -- Believe it or not, it could actually be easier to sell your home in the winter. One industry source says February is the best month to sell. We learn more in this Angie's List report.

Think home sales cool off in the winter? Actually, the combination of fewer sellers and eager buyers make it a great time to list.

"Less competition ultimately is the number one reason for a seller to list in the winter, in the perceptually poorer months," said real estate broker Dan Tracy.

Angie Hicks, founder of Angie's List, adds: "Also, when there are buyers in the market in the winter, they're more motivated because they're not just window shopping."

A recent Redfin report shows that winter-listed homes are nine- percent more likely to sell, and they sell a week faster than homes listed in other seasons.

One thing that helps is a furnace tune-up, so your home feels cozy as soon as prospective buyers are in the door.

"What I like to do is make sure the heat is set at a certain temperature. Maybe that's 72 or 73 degrees – whatever's comfortable for that home so when you walk in, it feels warm and inviting," said Tracy.

Listing your home now may require a little more effort, especially if weather takes a turn for the worse.

"If you're showing your house in the winter, you need to be flexible for changing weather conditions, so if you have a showing coming up and snow has just come through, be sure you clear the sidewalks and driveway before you leave your house," said Hicks.

Tracy agrees: "The last thing you want is for a prospective buyer to love the home and fall on their way out going down the back stairs."

Other tips? If you have a fireplace, get it swept and have a fire burning during showings.

Also, clean the windows and let in as much natural light as possible. That's especially helpful on overcast days.

Remember you can catch the latest Angie's List report every Tuesday morning on WTXL Sunrise.