Buying or Selling in January? Here’s how to do it!

January can be a tough time in the real estate market – whether you’re buying or selling a home. The winter is still hanging around, everything is still moving at a snail’s pace, and no matter which way you’re going, it can be a tough sell. So, how do you buy or sell in these last couple weeks of January?

When Selling

  • The exterior of homes can often become hidden under blankets of snow, with some icy patches leading up to your door. Of course, firstly make sure that it’s safe by putting down sand and salt; and then take advantage of the season to spruce things up! Use white lights to illuminate paths, or rustic urns that can add to the decor.
  • If you have a fireplace in your home, throw a log in and keep it going for all showings! It will make the entire home feel warmer and more inviting; and will bring focus to a huge selling feature of the home.
  • Make sure that what they can’t see on the outside, potential homebuyers can see on the inside. Have pictures available of your home during the summer and fall months and lay them out somewhere near the snacks or include them in the Open House pamphlet.

When Buying

  • If there’s a swimming pool, air conditioner, or other outdoor feature included with the home, make sure that you get an extended warranty on those items; or that you include a condition on your offer that stipulates any repairs needed are completed within the first month or so of the spring season when the snow has cleared away.
  • While trudging through snow and slop may not make for a great winter buying experience, there are ways you can use the season to your advantage. Be sure to make special note of whether heavy snowfalls make it harder to park, get around the streets, or do anything else that you normally do during the winter months.
  • Be sure to ask what the heating costs are in the home during the winter. This is something that should be asked during any season, but it will most likely be on your mind anyway once you’re shivering from the cold.
  • Check the roof to see if the snow has accumulated on it. If it’s melting faster than the snow on the ground around the home, it could mean that the home is not properly insulated.

Trekking around through the snow, sleet and slush sure can take a lot of the excitement out of buying or selling a home. Follow these tips though, and your experience won’t only be more enjoyable, but you may get more out of the experience too!