Why You Should Sell Your Home in the “Off-Season”

winter home on lake with snow on roof at twilight

Technology has changed real estate and how buyers find their homes. According to NAR, the most popular information source for homebuyers was an online website at 89%. After searching for a home online, a majority of people will then walk through the homes they like. Buyers can now look at homes online year-round, so factors like snow don’t deter buyers as much as they used to before the internet.

While it is true that there will be less inventory in the market during these months, this is not a negative either. Your home will have less competition, and buyers who are active are traditionally motivated buyers. What’s more, buyers who have been searching for a home over the summer won’t just stop looking at houses because summer is over. If they were unable to find one during the spring or summer, they’ll still likely keep tabs on homes in their priced range. So in reality, your buyer pool won’t drastically shrink, even though your competition will. 

If you’re ready to sell during the fall or winter markets, here are a few tips to help you prepare your home for sale.

  • Have all-season photos on hand. Once the snow falls, it can be difficult for buyers to visualize your outdoor space. If you’ve got a great backyard, make sure you have pictures from spring/summer to show its potential to buyers.
  • Make sure everything is ready to go. If you can, get your home in the best shape possible and make any major repairs. Homebuyers are less likely to want to put in work during the colder months. 
  • Maximize your curb appeal. Keep up with raking leaves and shoveling snow. Do your best to keep your pathways clear and salted during the winter months to prevent a slip or fall. 
  • Let there be light. With the colder months come less sunlight, so make sure that your home is well-lit both inside and out. Replace old or dead bulbs with bright and energy-efficient ones. 
  • Style your home for the season. Let your home reflect the season. If you’re looking for tips on how to style your home for a holiday sale, check out our blog here.
  • Use a real estate professional. If you’re ready to list in the off-season, a top-notch sales professional will help your home get in front of the right audience. Our real estate sales professionals are experts who have revolutionary marketing tools at their fingertips. Make sure you reach out to one of our sales professionals today!

Don’t fall for the common misconception that listing your home for sale outside of the busiest months is a bad thing. There are plenty of benefits to listing outside the traditional peak season.


5 Questions to Ask Yourself if You’re Ready to Sell Your Home

Ready to sell your home? Here are 5 questions you should ask yourself before you sell:


Couple meeting with agent in office

Are my finances in order?

Make sure you know how much you owe on your mortgage and take into account what you owe on any home equity loans. If you owe more than your home could be worth (check out our Buyside tool to find out an estimate), it may be in your best interest to get your finances in order before selling. 

Does my house need updates or repairs?

Make sure you finish any incomplete projects around the house. Consider painting if your home needs it, and patch up holes or cracked plaster. You should repair or replace chipped tiles and/or damaged flooring. Make sure you deep clean the home to remove any pet or cigar/cigarette odor. 

What items should stay with the house? 

Do you love your kitchen appliances? Potential buyers may too. It may be in your best interest to leave items with your home that could add value. Your real estate sales professional can be a great resource to inform you what you should leave and what you should take with you.

What should I get rid of?

Depersonalization and decluttering are important when you’re ready to list your home for sale. Consider a storage space to store items that aren’t necessary for your everyday life to help showcase your home in the best way possible. This is also a great opportunity to get rid of items you don’t want to move with you. 

Should I hire a real estate professional to list my home? 

A real estate sales professional is a major help when you are listing your home. What does a good real estate sales professional do to help you get your home sold? They offer advice on how to stage your home, can price your home competitively, market your home, negotiate on your behalf, just to name a few.


If you decide that you are ready to list your home for sale, make sure you reach out to a HUNT Real Estate ERA sales professional.


4 Questions to Ask Your Listing Agent when Selling Your Home

Agent meeting indoors on a couch with man and woman and pointing at a contract

Finding the right real estate professional to help you with selling your home can be a difficult task. This is the person who will negotiate on your behalf and will influence your overall home selling experience.

If you’re looking for your real estate sales professional, ask them a few questions to understand how they operate. You want to make sure they’re compatible with your goals and personality. Here is a list of 4 questions you can ask your real estate sales professional when deciding to list your home:


Q: How long have you been in real estate?

Your agent should be happy to share information about their experience in real estate and their qualifications.

Q: Have you sold any other homes in the area?

You want an agent familiar with the neighborhood that your home is in. Communities can vary, and what helps sell homes in one neighborhood may not be the same in another. If your agent is familiar with the area, they can help sell its perks to potential homebuyers.

Q: Will I be working directly with you or will I be working with a team?

Some agents are members of a team. This means you may not be working with only one agent, but a team of agents and administrative professionals. This is not a negative! It can allow a large pool of professionals to assist in the sale of your home. Just be sure you’re comfortable with this and get to meet all the professionals you’ll be working with during the process.

Q: What is your preferred method of contact?

Some agents love email, others love texting, others love phone calls. It all depends on the individual. Make sure you have someone who prefers your form of communication.


When you’re ready to sell your home, HUNT Real Estate has the best trained real estate sales professionals. Reach out to one of our sales professionals in your area to find out how we can help you sell your home.


First-Time Home Seller FAQ

If this is your first time selling your home, you may have a few questions. Here are a few common FAQs to help give you some insight into what you can expect when selling your first home:


How much work should I put into my home before I sell?

Try not to place too much money into repairs. If there are major items, like HVAC work or basement work, you may want to consider repairing these items. A fresh coat of paint and a good decluttering can also be a cost effective way to create a welcoming environment for buyers.

How much is my home worth?

If you’re interested in what your home is worth, check out our Buyside tool. It gives you three free estimates on your home’s value. While this is a great starting point, the best way to determine what your home is worth is to reach out to a real estate professional. Your real estate sales professional can help you determine what your home is worth.

How long will it take to sell my home?

While there’s no exact number, according to NAR, the average home was on the market for 3 weeks in 2018.

Should I stage my home?

Staging your home is a great way to help your home appear its best to your potential buyers. In fact, according to NAR, 48% of buyers’ agents said home staging had an effect on most buyers’ view of the home. 83% said it helps their buyers visualize the property as a future home. ¼ of buyer’s agents even said staging a home increased the dollar value offered on a home between 1-5%, compared to homes that weren’t staged.

Check out these blogs for more information on staging:

Should I be around for viewings/open house?

If possible, try not to be at your home when it is being viewed. Being present at showings can make buyers feel uneasy and prevent them from discussing their likes and dislikes. This could prevent certain buyers from placing a bid on your house.


If you have more questions about selling your home, contact a HUNT Real Estate sales professional today who can help you through every step of the selling process!


Setting the Stage: The Bedrooms

We’ve covered almost every room in the house in our setting the stage blogs. The last areas that you could consider staging are the bedrooms. While bedrooms are more easily staged than most rooms, there are still many things to consider when setting up these rooms for potential homebuyers.

Remove clutter – Closet space is an important selling feature for bedrooms. The bigger the closet looks, the better. Put clothing or other items that you store in your closet into storage. Clear books, papers and other items off dressers and desks as well.

Enhance the room with attractive linens – Make your room more inviting by throwing a blanket across the end of the bed or adding decorative pillows. You may also want to consider changing out your curtains if they are heavy and drag down the appearance of the room.

Keep it neutral – If the rooms are painted in bright colors, you may want to consider repainting. Avoid using wallpaper decorated in prints and bright colors.

According to NAR, “1/4 of buyers’ agents said that staging a home increased the dollar value offered between one and five percent, compared to other similar homes on the market that were not staged.” So make sure you make your home look its best! If you need assistance, reach out to a HUNT sales professional today!


Setting the Stage: The Bathroom

Bathroom improvements can enhance the asking price for your home. If you have already updated your bathrooms, it is important to maximize their appearance to make the best impression possible.

Evaluate the vanity – If the vanity is dated, you may be able to simply paint it white and put new hardware on the doors to update its appearance. However, it may be more advantageous to replace it with a new vanity.

Evaluate the faucets – Faucets are an important feature in the bathroom. Simply changing the faucet set on the sink and bathtub can make a difference.

Check the condition of your flooring – The condition of your flooring will make a difference to the potential homebuyer. If your flooring is cracked or scratched, consider replacing the flawed tiles. If your flooring is dated, consider replacing the floor with updated vinyl flooring.

Clean and declutter – Make every effort to clean your bathroom before each showing. Clear off all clutter, including make-up, toothbrushes, etc.

Enhance the room with decorative linens – Decorate your bathrooms with your best towels and washcloths. Warm up the room by laying down a rug.

These simple tips should help to enhance the look of your home and present it in the best way for your potential buyers. If you’re not sure where to start, be sure to ask your HUNT Real Estate sales professional their opinion.


Setting the Stage: The Kitchen

Kitchens are one of the most important rooms to a potential homebuyer. Improvements to kitchens can significantly raise the asking price for your home, so you should discuss the options with your HUNT ERA real estate professional. If you have a kitchen in need of updates, it is important to make the best impression possible.

  • Evaluate the cabinets and countertops – If your cabinets are dated, you can simply paint them white and/or put new hardware on the doors to update their appearance. Countertops can date a kitchen but unlike cabinets, they are much less expensive to replace.
  • Evaluate the faucets – Faucets are an important accessory in the kitchen. Simply changing the faucet set on the sink can make a difference.
  • Check the condition of the flooring – The condition of your flooring will impact a potential homebuyer. If your flooring is cracked or scratched, consider replacing the flawed tiles. If your flooring is dated, consider replacing it with updated vinyl flooring.
  • Clean and declutter – Make every effort to clean your kitchen before each showing. Clear any appliances not being used on a daily basis. Clear out any pots, pans, glassware, cookbooks and other items that you may not readily need and place them into storage. Organize the items left in the cabinets as homebuyers look for storage space in the kitchen.
Are you ready to sell your home? Make sure you’re prepared! Reach out to a HUNT Real Estate sales professional to help guide you through the home selling process. 

Setting the Stage: The Kitchen

Kitchens are one of the most important rooms to a potential homebuyer. Improvements to kitchens can significantly raise the asking price for your home, so you should discuss the options with your HUNT ERA real estate professional. If you have a kitchen in need of updates, it is important to make the best impression possible.

  • Evaluate the cabinets and countertops – If your cabinets are dated, you can simply paint them white and/or put new hardware on the doors to update their appearance. Countertops can date a kitchen but unlike cabinets, they are much less expensive to replace.
  • Evaluate the faucets – Faucets are an important accessory in the kitchen. Simply changing the faucet set on the sink can make a difference.
  • Check the condition of the flooring – The condition of your flooring will impact a potential homebuyer. If your flooring is cracked or scratched, consider replacing the flawed tiles. If your flooring is dated, consider replacing it with updated vinyl flooring.
  • Clean and declutter – Make every effort to clean your kitchen before each showing. Clear any appliances not being used on a daily basis. Clear out any pots, pans, glassware, cookbooks and other items that you may not readily need and place them into storage. Organize the items left in the cabinets as homebuyers look for storage space in the kitchen.

Are you ready to sell your home? Make sure you’re prepared! Reach out to a HUNT Real Estate sales professional to help guide you through the home selling process. 


Setting The Stage: Living Areas

When potential homebuyers make the decision to see the inside of your home, they are looking to see what your home has to offer them. To many buyers, the most important rooms are the living room, family room, and dining room, where many people spend a large portion of their time at home. Being able to relax in the living room, family room and dining room is what makes a house a home to many buyers. Ask yourself if your rooms accommodate the needs of a homebuyer the way that they appear today.


Clean and declutter – Thoroughly clean the areas. Items such as magazines, books and papers should be packed and stored. Clutter is distracting to homebuyers.

Keep it neutral – If the rooms are painted in bright colors, you may want to consider repainting the rooms. Wallpaper could also be removed.

Dress the windows – Ensure that your window dressings are clean and appealing. Also, clean windows make the room appear brighter.

Dress up the areas – Place a vase of flowers on a table. Stage the areas as if you were entertaining guests.

Evaluate furnishings – Be certain your living areas are appropriately furnished for the room’s intended use.

Brighten it up – Turn on all of the lights for showings.

Are you ready to sell your home? Check out our Pinterest board for inspiration and reach out to a HUNT Real Estate sales professional near you today!