Just because the fall market has frozen doesn’t mean your sales have to languish. Here’s how to sell listings like they’re hot even during the chilliest time of year.

A mid-year job change, a marriage (or divorce), retirement, a baby on the way — life’s biggest events happen all year around and not always at an ideal time for real estate sales.

Even if you feel that the market is in hibernation, you can get that listing sold in a timely manner and sell it for more when you follow these steps to a great rollout.

1. Price it right

Take a look at what’s already on the market and what’s not. Then strategize your pricing for maximum impact. Know the area’s comps and make sure that you can justify your price effectively in a negotiation.

In many markets, a price that’s slightly below market value can juice offers and get a home sold faster. This might be a better strategy during the fall and winter to avoid having a home languish with multiple price reductions, then compete with the shiny, new spring inventory.

2. Stage it right

Studies from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) consistently show that staging makes a difference to a home’s bottom line. Make sure your homeowners have decluttered and worked with an agent or designer who specializes in staging. That little bit of extra TLC might make all of the difference in the sale price and days on market.

Don’t forget to stage the exterior as well as the interior of the house — especially during the drab, gray winter. Dress up the porch with some beautiful evergreen plants, add weather-resistant plantings, and polish or repaint railings and trim as needed.

3. Market it right

This is not the time to hold back — bring out the big guns, and market that home beautifully. Professional photography and content, graphic design, standalone property websites — all of these can help show your listing to its best advantage.

In addition, it’s time for you to work the phones and send an email blast to all of your contacts. You might also want to hold a broker’s open to get your local colleagues in for an in-person visit. Get the home in front of as many eyes as possible so that it doesn’t get left behind.

4. Freshen up

Make sure that the listing is professionally cleaned and that it is regularly aired out to avoid stale, indoor air during the cold winter months. You might also want to provide a convenient place for buyers and agents to leave their snow gear and boots during showings so that they’re not tracking in slush and dirtying floors and carpets.

5. Make improvements

One way to help your listing get attention is to add some updates and upgrades that make the home stand out in the local market. If you’re working with a limited budget, you might find that a new front door color with new porch lighting and fashionable house numbers will add that little bit of curb appeal that pays.

Alternatively, go all in with upgraded lighting throughout the home or freshen up old-fashioned fixtures. These types of improvements are affordable and will pay for themselves long before major remodels ever could.

Cold weather and the hustle and bustle of the holiday season don’t have to be deterrents to a fast and profitable home sale. Make your listing a little more special and get it a little more attention. You might just find that the lower inventory and better marketing will combine to get you and your sellers the results you’re looking for.

Christy Murdock Edgar is a Realtor, freelance writer, coach and consultant with Writing Real Estate. She is also a Florida Realtors faculty member. Follow Writing Real Estate on  FacebookTwitterInstagram  and YouTube.

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