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Why should I sell my home during the off-season?

For most sellers, the main reason to sell a home during the off-season is necessity. If you need to move and it is not a prime selling season, do not despair. If you make a plan, you will likely find interested buyers and you may even find better chances of selling in certain markets.

In the off-season, sellers often find that there are not as many interested buyers. The buyers in the market, however, may be just as motivated as the sellers. They may need to buy a home just as much as you need to sell yours. Additionally, as a result of the smaller market, your home will have less competition. This can sometimes make finding an interested buyer a little easier and it can counteract the effect of fewer buyers on the market.

Is it worth remodeling my house before selling?

If you sell a home in the off-season, you may want it to look as good as it can, but that does not mean you need to spend a lot of money remodeling it. If there are plenty of comparable listings in your local real estate market, buyers may have more leverage to negotiate during the off-season. Having a move-in ready and updated home may attract buyers.

If you want to remodel, weigh the benefits against the costs and time required. Focus on projects that have a high return on investment, like a fresh coat of neutral paint, or updating outdated fixtures. Sellers can often benefit more from careful cosmetic changes and thoughtful staging, rather than major remodels.

If you do decide to remodel, be sure to make a Construction Contract or a Maintenance Contract with any contractors.

How do I market my home during the off-season?

When selling a home in the off-season, take advantage of a professional real estate agent. An agent will get the home listed in online databases and the MLS, which are two of the most effective ways to advertise. An agent will hold an open house to get people in the door, and can market the home just as they would any other time of the year.

Once you get interested buyers, be flexible with showings. This is not the time to be picky because there are fewer buyers in the market. Keep an open calendar and let buyers come when they are ready.

What else should I know when selling my home during the off-season?

As you enter the market to sell, be patient as you list your home and wait for interested buyers. When selling a home in the off-season, you may want to make sure showings happen in the mornings or early afternoons, as you likely want buyers to see the home in the light of day.

You may also have to be sensitive to the holidays. Do not overdo your holiday decor. Some buyers may not celebrate the holidays and may be put off by over-the-top decorations. It may also be a good idea to make sure you have good welcome mats and warm inviting entryways that will make the home more appealing during cold or wet weather.

Selling in any season requires the right paperwork. A sales contract with your agent may outline what the agent will and will not do as you enter the final stages of the process. But it is not just the seller. The buyer also needs the right legal documents. An offer that includes an Intent to Purchase Real Estate or a Real Estate Purchase Agreement demonstrates serious interest.

If you list during the off-season and do not get any interest or reasonable offers, you may want to pull your home off the market temporarily. List it again when the selling season begins, with new photos of the home. This will make it look like a new listing, rather than a stale one. Doing so may also give you the opportunity to get help or make minor improvements that may increase your chances of success when you relist.

If you have legal questions about selling your home or property, reach out to a Rocket Lawyer network attorney.

This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.

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