Preparing Your Home for the Winter Market

The Sarasota Real Estate market has more than one cycle of activity per year, but none is more exciting to residents than the annual "snowbird" market.

The "family" market is nearing its end.  

Families with children in school tend to follow the school year, and July did see a significant number of properties going under contract with a view to close before the school year begins on Aug. 20.

However, the winter market, with the significant increase in population and purchasers, is perhaps the most exciting.  Beginning in October and ending in May of each year, home owners who succeed in selling their properties during the winter months prepare them for market now.

The broad changes in the lending market mean careful attention needs to be paid to any property going on the market.  Bank appraisers are very interested in the condition of the roof and air conditioning systems, as well as the relationship of the contract price to recent sales in the area.

Purchasers are still wowed by curb appeal and fresh paint.  The more a property says "move right in" the more quickly it is likely to sell.  If a carpet needs to be replaced, rather than decide that the buyer can change it to suit their taste, it is better to go ahead and replace it.  A buyer is more likely to live with a carpet they do not prefer than face the added time and expense of having a new one put in.

Naturally, as well, all sellers are strongly encouraged to declutter significantly and remove any personal photos so that viewers are more able to see the house, its lines and visualize themselves in it.  It also makes for much better photos which will be viewed online by the purchasers as well as their Realtor.  

Price positioning is also critical.  A well priced property will receive a significant amount of showings, particularly in the first two weeks of listing.  While leaving a bit of negotiating room, the property first has to be priced appropriately to encourage offers.  Without offers, there is no negotiating.  

Finally, there are a few more things a home seller can consider to make their property more attractive.  Have a pest inspection done and, if necessary, deal with any critters that could deter someone from following through on an offer.

A roof inspection may also be conducted at a fairly low cost to ensure that any possible unknown issues are uncovered and handled up front.  Where appropriate, it may be worth having a professional appraisal done on the property.  

While costing several hundred dollars usually, it can reassure both buyer and seller of the accurateness of the asking price.

Surveys and elevation certificates are also very beneficial, particularly for waterfront properties, when addressing the questions of buyers.



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