Agents can impart important advice for selling clients as winter approaches

October 23, 2017

Some would-be sellers may have questions about how the sales process changes from summer to fall, and even winter. But experienced real estate professionals can walk them through all the ins and outs, and provide crucial insight that might put them at ease and better guide them on their journey.

Especially in today's housing market - when buyers are numerous and listings are few - anyone who's looking to sell a home is likely to receive multiple bids, and that's probably going to be the case even when activity is normally at a relatively low ebb, according to U.S. News and World Report. Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind, especially as winter draws near, is photos from warmer days are often better for marketing purposes than those of bare trees and weather-worn grass.

Likewise, if homeowners haven't raked up all the leaves on the front lawn, before a photo shoot or open house, that might be an issue for some would-be buyers.

Changes in the sales process
Meanwhile, open houses are likely to be a little fewer and farther between, simply because people have a lot going on at this time of year or they may not want to leave the house when colder weather arrives. Some industry insiders say showings can drop to as little one-third of what sellers normally go through in the spring and summer, so putting the best possible foot forward for such an event is all the more important.

Along similar lines, sellers may need to be a little more flexible on a lot of fronts, because the holidays and other issues might lead to the need to push back closing dates, scheduled meetings and so on.

Home care before a sale
At the same time, it's also more important at this time of year for owners to make sure everything in their homes is in proper working order, according to Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Real Estate. For instance, if there's a potential problem with a home heating system, that's something that needs to be addressed before the home is formally listed. This is also true of all appliances and other mechanical devices, such as garage door openers.

Of course, there's no way to foresee when or if HVAC systems or appliances will go haywire, and for that reason, it's also vital for agents to advise clients about the benefits of a home warranty. These products will help cover the costs associated with repairing or replacing many major appliances and systems, even long after a sale, providing significant peace of mind for buyers and sellers alike.

In fact, it might be wise for agents to advise sellers to purchase a home warranty before a sale, to protect all involved in the event an issue arises between the start of the real estate sales process and the point at which a sale is finalized. While they can often be included at closing, the sooner they're purchased, the longer they provide protection.