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Selling Your Home over the Winter?

December 17, 2015

Good news for home sellers: winter home buyers are serious home buyers. Moving during the winter season is definitely more stressful than during the other seasons. There may be no snow to contend with, but the Bay Area certainly sees damp and soggy moving conditions. Families, too, are reluctant to pull their kids out of school halfway through the year.

Instead of having a negative effect, this just means that the buyers who are in the game are much more serious and determined to buy a home--meaning that if you're selling a home, it may get snatched up quicker than you'd think. In fact, according to a report from Redfin, the spring and winter seasons are tied for best selling home performance in San Francisco.

If you're selling your home over the winter, here are some tips that will give your house the cutting edge in the San Francisco real estate market:

Make Your Home a Beacon through That Gloomy Fog

Let's say that you've owned your condo in Mission Dolores or the Inner Mission for 5 or 6 years and it feels like time for a change. Mission Dolores and the Inner Mission during the summer are bright and sunny (some of the best weather in the city!). In the winter, however, you'll want to put extra care into making your home's exterior shine. Proper staging will give the exterior the little lift it needs--new door, fresh paint, trimmed shrubs--to make your house cut through the gloom of the rainy season.

Don't Let Your Yard Hibernate

Believe it or not, in certain San Francisco neighborhoods (such as Bernal Heights), front yards really are a thing! Most San Francisco single family homes have backyards, too. People tend to do their big yard projects in the spring, but if you're selling your home over the winter, it's time to get those shears out! Trim trees, shrubs, and bushes, plant flowers that are already in bloom, and clear out any debris, such as fallen leaves. If you do it right, your yard will look like a summer oasis.

Make Your Home Extra Cozy

Give potential buyers a respite from the unpredictable but often gloom and doomy San Francisco winter weather. During the winter, buyers will often be braving the damp cold to see your house, so make them feel relaxed and warm once they step inside. This is especially important for houses with views, such as many in Noe Valley, Bernal Heights, Eureka Valley, Mission Dolores, and Twin Peaks. The San Francisco winter view may be grey and glum, but if your house is full of light and warmth, the view will retain its charm. Light your fireplace if you have one (it's also a great way to show buyers that the fireplace is in working condition) and light mood-setting candles around the house.

Jump off That Fence

The inboxes at SFHotlist and Keller Williams San Francisco are clogged with emails from Realtors asking about off-market listings for their hungry buyers. If you're thinking about selling your home over the winter, take the leap and go for it! New Year's resolutions, taxes, and the interest rate increase spur buyers to act. There is pent-up demand this holiday season--take advantage before the spring frenzy sets in.

Looking to sell your home this winter? Reach out! The Sfhotlist and Keller Williams San Francisco team would love to help.

-DL

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