Brampton annually maintains a growth rate and thriving local economy that few Greater Toronto Area municipalities rival. Even surrounded by a major corporate epicenter, the Peel Region seat of government can't entirely avoid an inevitable housing market slowdown from early autumn through winter's thaw into spring.
Real estate pools throughout the world anticipate some lethargy starting right around September. Particularly in snow-prone climates such as Canada's, unpredictable severe-weather patterns can make hospitable conditions for venturing to open houses and showings highly unpredictable. Even in unusually fair-weather seasons from September through March, most family will avoid relocating near the approaching holiday season and the middle or school sessions whenever possible.
Selling during the "off" season is hardly ideal. It isn't impossible, either. As sales slow and buyers take a few months off, inventory can sometimes reduce significantly while some sellers become increasingly motivated to gut it out instead of pulling their homes from the market. In many instances, those sellers hanging in there can hand their homes over to buyers who perhaps don't have time as closely on their sides as they'd like and need to move immediately.
When trying to move a home off of the Brampton market during these unavoidable annual doldrums, an attentive real estate professional's guidance and some thoughtful proactivity can make all the difference a seller needs…
Buyers know that that their ilk and many sellers alike take the fall and winter off from working the housing market. They also know that sellers have more to potentially lose by keeping a home on the market throughout the slow part of the year than buyers do by continuing to shop around.
Selling your home when the mercury dips might require some appropriate sale-price adjustments. Sellers who list at realistic prices initially leave sellers little wiggle room for haggling. Less haggling can mean simpler negotiations and a more quickly closed sale.
SAY "NO" TO SNOW
No snow? In winter? Hear us out.
Visual perception can be a difference-maker. Seeing a home at its very best sells buyers on its value far more concretely than making them use their imaginations to see it without a white blanket all around it. If selling during the winter, buyers will eventually see the home covered in snow anyway, so make a first impression that sticks using an authentic but "fairer-weather" vision.
Don't bother taking new pictures with snow covering your property. You and your agent should arrange for advertising photos to be taken before winter weather arrives in full. If listing a home after snow has already fallen on it, there are two fairly realistic options: either schedule the photos immediately once even a brief thaw arrives or ask if the photographer can digitally remove snow without making the editing too obvious.
CURB APPEAL COUNTS
Sure, vibrantly coloured leaves and virgin snow paint picturesque settings for a little while. They also leave some depressing clutter behind.
Diligent exterior upkeep just comes with listing throughout the autumn and winter months. Your home has to make an instant impression from the time buyers pull up to it. First and foremost, keep driveways and walkways constantly free of ice and snow. Not only is it unsightly and impossible to completely clear away should an agent call with a spontaneous showing for a strong potential buyer, it also creates safety hazards.
While you're at it, stay on top of clearing away fallen branches and dead leaves. Buyers don't need to be reminded of the yard-work that will come with owning your property. Finally, give your buyers a vision of how your home dresses up for the holidays. Adding a decorative wreath on the door or some seasonally festive gourds near the doorstep paints an idyllic picture that sticks around a while.
WARMER ON THE INSIDE
Where winter weather is at its worst, a home is a warm haven from unforgiving chills. Your agent can guide you with some direction to make your home's interior as inviting and cozy as possible.
As always, keep the clutter to a minimum. The roomier a home looks, the more enticing it is to stay a while. While you're at it, seize the moment to let your buyers' imaginations run wild with thoughts of their own personal touches. Getting personal memorabilia, photos and other affects out of sight lends buyers a blank canvas on which they can draw visions for their own individual touches.
A few holiday decorations here and there won't go amiss. In fact, they can lend to the homey, quaint atmosphere that you want to leave fresh in visitors' thoughts. Christmas trees are fine, as are roaring fires if there's a fireplace to showcase or an autumn-themed centerpiece with some decorative gourds or garland. However, don't go overboard with more colorful, kitschy pieces such as Santa Claus and the reindeer parked on the lawn or elaborate Halloween scenes.
Last but not least, don't take aromatic appeal for granted. If you have the time and resources, bake a fresh batch of cookies or a delicious fall pie before buyers arrive. It fills the home with an appealing, inviting smell of the season. If you can't bake, shop around for similarly scented candles for the same effect.
LIGHT EVERYTHING WELL
Finally, be mindful of your home's lighting.
Here's another difference between listing during the spring and summer and keeping a home on the market when the days grow short: less natural sunlight in which interiors can be bathed by simply opening a few blinds and drapes. Make the most of what's around to naturally light your home by scheduling a professional window cleaning, both the inside and outside surfaces.
To make up for the inevitably lacking natural light, up the wattage on your home's lighting from 40-watt bulbs to 75 or even 100-watts. Keep the lights on as long as agents and buyers are looking around.