Let’s consider the pros & cons with listing your home during the winter months

Winter morning

Selling your home in Winter

If you are an Northeast PA homeowner struggling with the decision about whether listing your home for sale during the winter months is good or bad, there are arguments for either choice.
Let’s start with the “pros”:
One of the best things I like about listing your home for sale in the winter months is that the holidays work to your advantage. Nothing says “home” better than a house that is well (and tastefully!) decorated for the holidays. By making sure the decorations accent the house rather than overpower it, you still funnel attention where it belongs: on your house!
Another plus that comes with listing your home in town during the winter months is the logistical reasons that keep the proportion of non-serious “shoppers” from occupying your time. I find that the majority of those who are looking for homes during the winter months are disproportionally intent on actually buying a home.
On the other hand, some of those same logistical forces serve as counterarguments against listing your home during the winter. They are the same reasons many real estate agents tell their clients to wait until the spring to list. It’s true that there are fewer daylight hours for home viewings…not to mention spates of bad weather, and the greater chance that holiday travel will interfere with both buyer and seller schedules.
All in all, I think the arguments cancel each other out: I don’t advise you to allow the time of year to prevent you from listing your home in any season. If you are otherwise ready to sell your home this month or next, I say — make the most of the season! Who knows – it has happened more than once that the right buyer is out there right now. I have marketing plans for area homes that work every month of the year — if you are ready to sell, I’d be delighted to help you launch your sale this holiday season!

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There’s more psychology in selling homes in our Northeast PA real estate than you think………

When you’re ready to choose the local real estate agent, you are choosing someone who must fill a variety of roles: marketer, stager, tour guide, negotiator.  And don’t leave out another role — psychology major!

To build – and maintain – our kind of successful track record, a great real estate agent needs to understand the way prospective buyers think about their search for a home, how they may react to presentation forms, and what builds – or detracts – from the value they assign to your property. It’s psychology, all right — and it’s usually a vital part of any sales or marketing success.

There was a very revealing study conducted at the University of Texas that looked at how psychology can affect a real estate transaction. A couple of years ago, they began conducting psychological studies, with one of them using statistical tools and a huge sample of real estate transactions.  What was interesting is what they discovered about using the word “new”. Agents who marketed homes with phrases like “new paint,” new carpets,” wound up selling them for slightly less than those who did not?!

Their explanation for this was that with homes that aren’t brand new, highlighting “all new” features seems to call attention to the fact that the items mentioned needed to be replaced. It unnecessarily opened the door to suspicions about what went wrong that made replacement necessary.

I favor the tactic that under-promises and over-delivers. So, rather than trying to convince buyers how “new” an older home is, do the renewal work, but don’t brag about it.  Then when potential buyers walk into the home, they will be impressed by the new carpets and fresh paint.  It’s the approach that uber-successful Zappos company founder Tony Hsieh calls “surprise and delight.” What is effective for leading a company and retaining customers can also be psychologically effective for selling a local home.

I am constantly reminded of how important it is to never stop learning. If you are considering selling your home and are looking for marketing success with a psychological-edge, I hope you’ll contact me for a complimentary consultation!

Warm Regards, Lauren Bianco, Realtor

Helping you Find your way Home! 

I thought I was worried about our local Northeast PA housing? But, maybe not!

 Well, if you were among the thousand or so consumers who got a phone call last month from Fannie Mae, and you actually took the time to answer the 100+ questions they asked – on behalf of the rest of us – I’d like to say ‘thank you very much!’ because you and your fellow survey subjects have sent a big warm ray of light our way………                     You told us that you think things are finally getting better!!Image

 Now, as you may or may not know, Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey provides a look into opinions about things like owning and renting homes, household finances, housing and the economy, etc and considered to be the most comprehensive measure of consumer attitudes toward the housing market. And, since they do them religiously every month, it’s a fair signal whether attitudes are beginning to turn up or down.

 So, according to you and your 1,000 fellow respondents, homeowners who have been considering listing their home for sale might have reason to be more inclined to do so. This is because they believe that home prices will increase over the next 12 months. The number of respondents who say it’s a good time to sell rose to the highest level in over a year; and a solid 65% say they – if they were going to move –  would rather buy than rent their next home

On the subject of personal financial expectations, only 12% think that their financial situation will worsen in the coming 12 months, which represents the lowest value in over a year. Fewer believe their expenses have increased significantly in the last year; and only one in seven report that their income is lower than it was a year ago.

Generally, local attitudes tend to echo their findings, if for no other reason than Fannie Mae’s headline: “Consumer Attitudes about Personal Finances and Housing Stabilize Alongside Positive Economic News.” That’s a lot to say but, whenever I see the words ‘Housing’ and ‘Positive’ in the same headline, it makes me just a little happier!

 I think it’s good news and I wanted you to know!

So, if you’re planning to put your own local property for sale, why not give my office a call? I won’t ask you 100 questions like Fannie Mae did but I will be ready to answer all of yours!