Johnson County Real Estate and Community News

Nov. 13, 2020

Should I List my Home During the Winter Months?

So you’ve decided that it’s time for a change. Maybe you really want that extra home office, or maybe you’ve been craving a country lot after years in the city. For whatever the reason, it’s time to sell your house - so you should wait for spring to roll around, right? Everyone knows that spring and summer is when people move, correct? Well, not necessarily. 

 

In all actuality, there are some very convincing reasons to list during the winter months. While it remains true that more homes are bought and sold during the warmer months of the year, owners should never completely write-off a winter listing. According to the National Association of Realtors, 1.086 million homes were sold last winter, between December 2019 and February 2020. During the warmer months of 2020 there were approximately 1.5 million homes sold. So yes, more homes sell during the summer months. But the statistic of one million homes being sold during the winter months tells us that it is definitely still happening. 

 

So, what are the benefits of listing now? 

 

1. Serious Buyers

 

Buyers looking during the winter months are serious about finding a home. That means that their financing is in place, they know what they want, and they are highly motivated. During the warm months, there are a lot of potential buyers out there getting their feet wet - they might browse open houses during the weekends, peruse Zillow, and call agents to see homes even though they haven’t even started the pre-approval process. You will not find this lack of commitment during the winter season. 

 

2. Less Competition 

 

More inventory means more competition, and this is probably the most powerful argument for listing off-season. Being one of ten is a much better prospect than being one of seventy-five. When a buyer starts to look around, the more they see the more the features run together.  Listing in the winter means that they will not forget your home and that its features will stand out. 

 

3. Time 

 

Time is a double-hitter here: time off of work and time from agents. People tend to have more time off during the holiday seasons, and less time at work means more time to look at houses. In addition to the late December holidays, MLK Day and President’s Day give buyer’s a couple three-day weekends to search as well. As for the agent, fewer clients means more focused time and attention - which is highly valuable when making the biggest sale of your life. 

 

If you do decide to list during the holidays, make sure to keep holiday decor minimal. Follow the rule of thumb that less is more. We actually have a blog post about this topic that you can see here. But do play on the warmth of the season with a cozy fire or a scented candle. Janelle Williams, team leader of Janelle Williams and Associates ReeceNichols Real Estate, sums it up by agreeing that, “there are many excellent reasons to consider selling your home in the winter months. Typically, there is less inventory which means less competition, and winter buyers are serious, motivated, and often on a tight timeline.” All of which, homeseller, are good for YOU. 

 

If you are looking to buy or sell, any of the associates at Janelle Williams and Associates ReeceNichols Real Estate would love to help you, real estate is our passion. You can call (913) 269-6780, or visit janellewilliams.com or janellewiliams.reecenichols.com. We look forward to working with you! 

 

Written by Lindsey Hammer

 

Posted in Selling Your Home
Oct. 5, 2020

Selling Your Home During the Holiday Season

With the air getting crisper and the holidays quickly approaching, many homeowners wonder whether they should leave out their seasonal decor when selling a home. The current fall season can bring in very little or very much, depending on taste. Some people add a simple fall candle when September hits, while others cover their homes in pumpkins, gourds, and autumn-colored floral arrangements. When Halloween rolls around, some spooky-season fanatics have their homes decked out with spider webs, flashing lights, and creepy characters. November brings Thanksgiving, which is a toss up as far as how many go all out and how many keep it simple, but the winter holidays usually always bring an abundance of decor. So, if you are listing your home during any of these seasons, should you leave it up or leave it alone? 

 

The short answer is that less is more. The goal when selling a home is that the buyer sees the potential of the space and can easily envision their own personal touches when it comes to furniture and decor. Too much clutter will keep that from happening - there are just too many details competing for attention to allow room for the buyer to visualize anything of their own. Janelle Williams, team leader of Janelle Williams and Associates ReeceNichols Real Estate, says that “the best advice is to keep decorations simple, limited, and depersonalized”. An easy way to do this is to decorate for the season rather than the specific holiday. Teisha Barber of Jackson Main Architecture suggests that the aim should always be “simple, elegant, and tasteful. For example, with the fall season I like to decorate homes with pumpkins, gourds, corn stalks, mums, etc rather than specific Halloween and Thanksgiving decor.”  If you have small children who are begging for ghosts around the Halloween season, “a little can go a long way and still help them feel like they are celebrating the season”. And if you really keep it simple you can easily find things small enough to put away when a potential buyer comes to view the house. 

Jeanne Polhemus of Rooms Reborn, a local staging company, agrees that minimal is best. “One of the biggest things we stress to our clients in pre-listing consultations is the need to de-personalize and stage their house in a way that will appeal to the broadest range of buyers. To that end, we recommend that seasonal decor be minimal and somewhat generic. Consider a seasonal wreath or table centerpiece; a lightly scented seasonal candle such as apple cider, pumpkin spice or baked cookies; or some simple white lights” Smell is one of our strongest senses, and the relaxing properties of a candle can create a warm and soothing environment that the buyer feels right at home in. And getting a buyer to feel right at home is always the goal. 

Sensitivity to various religious and cultural practices is another thing Polhemus stresses. “Stay away from personal and religious decor to ensure that buyers from any cultural or religious background could see themselves making your house their home.” A buyer walking in to a home filled with religious decor from a religion they are not familiar with might not be able to picture themselves in the home, which is again always the aim when selling a house. “Keep things tidy and organized rather than setting out everything you might typically decorate with for a particular holiday” Barber suggests. Going with the ‘less is more’ model will keep things looking neutral, crisp, and fresh.

Cleanliness is another huge consideration when deciding on holiday decorations. When listing a home, clean is the name of the game, and as Barber points out, “as a home seller, you need to keep your house clean and tidy for potential house showings.  Don't overdo it with seasonal/holiday decor for the ease of keeping it all dusted and clean every day”. That collection of tiny Santas is a dust magnet and when you need to be able to show your house on the fly, you might not have time to get it taken care of. Williams agrees, sharing that “the number one thing we typically tell sellers when preparing their home is to de-clutter, declutter, declutter. Holidays typically bring on more clutter, not less, so selling during the holidays adds another layer of things to consider paring down”. 

When selling a home during the holiday season, ‘less is more’ should always be the rule of thumb. Selling during the holidays can be tricky, because you don’t want your home to appear cold, but you definitely don’t want clutter or kitsch either. So following the advice above and keeping things warm, but very simple and understated, is always the way to go. If you are looking to buy or sell, any of the associates with Janelle Williams and Associates ReeceNichols Real Estate would love to help you; real estate is our passion. You can call (913) 269-6780, or visit either janellewilliams.com or janellewilliams.reece nichols.com. We look forward to working with you! 

Written by Lindsey Hammer


Here at Janelle Williams & Associates ReeceNichols Real Estate, we are excited to begin bringing you a regular blog feature. Look for great content on all things real estate - current market conditions, fundamentals of buying and selling, understanding contracts, tips to improve curb appeal, and much more! Real estate is our passion and we look forward to sharing great information with you. And as always, we look forward to serving you with all of your buying and selling needs!

 

Posted in Selling Your Home
July 31, 2017

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Posted in Market Updates