Selling Your Brooklyn Home During The Winter

Brooklyn Bridge in winter.

Some people may advise you that selling your Brooklyn home during the winter is a bad idea. Sometimes you just need to get the house on the market for various reasons regardless of the season. There isn’t a wrong time to sell a home if you do all the necessary steps to prepare for the sale. 

Houses sell at all times of the year. If you are considering putting your home on the market, I will encourage you to do so. You may be surprised to hear me say that. Let me explain why I would encourage you to consider selling your Brooklyn home during the winter.

Reasons to sell your Brooklyn home during the winter:

  • Competition – The competition from other sellers during the winter is lower because so many believe it is hard to sell a house in the cold winter months.
  • Searches Increase – internet searches are known to increase during the winter. Most home buyers start their searches online.
  • Transient Society – Our society has become more mobile with people continually moving for many reasons.
  • Relocations – Many people who are relocating for their job do not always have a lot of time deciding and getting their family moved. They do not get to select the time of year they make that move either. 
  • Year-End Bonuses – Many people find themselves working from home and now feel their home is just too small. Before 2020, many people invested their year-end bonus in a larger home. This year we may see significant interest in using that year-end bonus to gain the desired space they have found necessary.
  • Serious Buyers – Looking for a home in the colder weather is not for the faint of heart. Although we have seen many serious buyers during the warmer months, we still see some who aren’t quite sure if they want to purchase a home. Buyers who are willing to come out to view a home during the winter are serious about buying.

Preparing your home for sale is essential despite the time of year you choose to list your home. Check out this previous blog post for tips on preparing your home for sale.

Additional suggestions for selling your Brooklyn home during the winter:

  • Curb Appeal – Do not forget about the exterior of your home in the winter. If you have not attended to your landscaping after summer, be sure to take some time now to spruce things up. Pay particular attention to the area that the buyers will be entering the home. While the agent is opening the lockbox, the buyers will be looking and notice any apparent defects.
  • Clear Snow And Ice – Whether you are selling your home or not, it is essential to keep your sidewalks and steps clear of snow and ice for your safety and the safety of others. When selling your home, it is necessary to pay as much attention to the backyard as the front yard. Buyers will want to check out the backyard also.
  • Create A Cozy Atmosphere – When it is cold outside, having the home as cozy and warm as possible will create a welcoming feeling the buyers will remember. Keep the home toasty and play some soft music. Taking the extra effort to make your buyers feel at home may create a good return on your dollar when that awaited offer comes in.
  • Hire a Reputable Agent – You must find the right agent to work for you when selling your Brooklyn home during the holiday and winter months. Any agent can sell a house when the demand is high. It takes an experienced, well-versed agent to guide you when the market is slower.

There is no reason to postpone putting your home on the market due to the holidays if you need to get your home sold quickly. As mentioned above, buyers who look in the winter are more serious about purchasing. That also applies to buyers who are looking throughout the holidays. The buyers may be taking some vacation time during the holidays and decide to do some home searching during their time off.

Tips for selling your home during the holidays:

  • Decorating – You may wonder if you should put up your decorations when selling your Brooklyn home during the holidays. Homes do look beautiful during the holiday season. You will still want to celebrate with your family. You can decorate for the holidays while selling your home. Just don’t go overboard. A tastefully decorated home will appeal to everyone. Some outdoor decorating can make up for the lack of curb appeal due to winter weather.
  • Eliminate Stress – That is a tall order during the uncertainty we find ourselves in this year. Try to give yourself a break and simplify your holiday celebrations while also trying to sell your home.
  • Be Flexible – It isn’t always possible, but try to keep your schedule as open as you can. You do not want to turn away buyers who wish to see your home. Remember that buyers who want to look this time of year are usually more serious about purchasing. If they are out of town, relocating buyers, it may be the only time they can look at your home.

Facing challenges to selling your home can happen at any time of the year. Knowing the market status in your area when you list your home will prevent you from frustration. Your real estate agent will be able to give you an idea of what to expect, so you are not surprised. Having an agent who studies the trends, knows the local market, and updates you will be the most valuable tool you have. 

Some challenges to selling your home during the winter:

  • More Negotiation – During the winter, we see fewer multiple offer situations. If the buyer is not competing with another offer for your property, they may feel they have some room to negotiate. A misguided buyer may think that you are desperate to sell your home because you have it on the market in the winter months and come in with a lowball offer. Try not to be offended if you receive a low offer. Remember they are showing interest in your home. Engage in negotiation with them.
  • Financing And Closing Delays – If a company is closing for a period during the holidays or closings due to inclement weather occurrences, there could be a delay in processing the mortgage or preparing the closing documentation.
  • Curb Appeal – There is no doubt that the spring and summer create a beautiful curb appeal for your home. In the winter, beautiful flowers and lush shrubbery can not be seen. If you have pictures of your home in its prime summer glory, make them available to your agent and potential buyers.
  • Lighting – Not only does the darkness set in earlier than in the summer, but winter days can also be dreary. Check the lighting throughout your home. Take care and effort to be sure each room is illuminated appropriately. Turn on all the lights inside and out (depending on the time of day of the showing) before leaving home for a showing.
  • Snow Boots – Tracking in the snow is a problem during winter showings. Create a spot that will make it easy for the buyers and their agents to remove the snowy or wet shoes before touring your home. If possible, provide a space to sit that will make it a bit more comfortable.

You can achieve an appealing atmosphere with the right staging efforts. Spend some time creating a welcoming environment when buyers are touring your home during the winter.

Ways to set the stage:

  • Scents – The scent of fresh-baked cookies is hard to beat. You can get some slice and bake cookies from the grocery store to bake right before showings. Due to the current Covid status, it is not recommended that you leave treats out for the buyers. But, you can certainly enjoy those fresh-baked treats when you get home.
  • Comfort – What is better than coming home to a warm fire? Although I do not advise leaving a wood-burning fireplace unattended, if you have a self-contained gas fireplace, you may want to set the scene by turning on the fireplace for your visitors. Cozy throw blankets strategically placed will create an inviting setting. Turn the thermostat up, so all areas of the home are warm.
  • Lights – As mentioned, turning on the lights before you leave will not only help make your interior look its best; it will also create a welcoming appearance from the exterior.
  • Gutters – Before putting your home on the market, take the time to clean your gutters. A clogged gutter can cause a water or ice issue that may cause uncertainty for some buyers.

Winter 2020 – 2021 brings some new guidelines to the real estate industry due to Covid-19. Please be aware of the protocols when selling your Brooklyn home. Be sure to discuss this important topic with your real estate agent. The state and board of Realtors® have set guidelines to protect all parties.  Real estate agents, homeowners, and potential buyers have a responsibility to adhere to these guidelines.

Showing guidelines during Covid:

  • Homeowners or occupants of a property can not be present during a showing.
  • All showings should be scheduled in advance by appointment only and allow space between to disinfect.
  • All parties are required to wear face coverings.
  • Maintain a 6-foot distance between individuals.
  • Buyers should only touch necessary surfaces such as handrails. 
  • Showing agents should disinfect high-touch surfaces as they leave each room.
  • Real estate brokers or homeowners should limit showings to one party at a time. 
  • Buyers are encouraged not to bring children or additional people to look at the home.
  • Remote walkthroughs are encouraged whenever possible.
  • Real estate agents should open windows during a showing to improve air circulation.
Number 1 on brick wall

The Number One Tip

Following the above advice is essential when selling your Brooklyn home during the winter. The most crucial, not to be overlooked advice I can provide is to price your home correctly

Helping you establish the right price for your home is where an experienced agent is most valuable. Many considerations go into pricing a home for the current market. 

Although the change of seasons may mean you have fewer buyers, it does not necessarily mean you will get a lower price. 

Your agent should be providing you with comparable sales for the neighborhood to determine the asking price. Pay attention to these comparables. The buyer will be looking at these numbers as well.

Factors that can affect the price of your home are:

  • Previous sales – Real estate agents, home buyers, and appraisers all look at past sales to establish a home’s price.
  • Neighborhood – The neighborhood location of the home will affect the sales price of the house. School systems, crime rates, and previous sales all factor into the desirability of the neighborhood.
  • Market – Being in a buyer’s market or a seller’s market also affects a home’s pricing. Knowing when the shift is occurring is tricky.
  • Condition – The condition of your home is a factor in the pricing. Preparing the house for sale and making the necessary repairs will improve the home’s condition before listing.
  • Size – The size of your home can also affect price and desirability. 

Don’t make the mistake of overpricing to test the market. Statistically, a seller who overprices their home on the initial listing ends up selling the property for less than if they would have listed it at the right price for the current market.

There are pros and cons to selling your Brooklyn home in the winter. It is possible to list and sell your home during these colder months successfully. I know because I have helped many sellers over the years do just that!

Contact me, Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate. As a Brooklyn real estate agent with over 30 years of experience, I can help you maneuver the winter real estate market successfully.

In the event our office is shut down, we are always committed to your safety during the COVID-19 health crisis in compliance with the State of New York public health policies. I can be reached by phone at (718) 253-9500 ext. 1901 or by email at [email protected].

Charles D'Alessandro

Charles D’Alessandro
Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent
718-253-9600 ext. 1901

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