13 Tips to Help Sell Your Home This Winter
The winter is usually the slowest home selling season. The main focus is on family and the holidays, not on buying a home. Most homeowners take their homes off the market for the winter.
Time to hibernate and wait for spring! Or is it?
Columnist and Realtor Jessica Roberts suggest that you follow these simple and effective home care and staging tips to ensure your home sells this winter:
- Take photographs of your home outside before the snow falls. A snow-covered home may look festive, but the features of your home will be hidden.
- Clear the driveway, sidewalks, and steps from snow and ice. Use sand and deicers as needed to keep walking areas neat and safe for visitors.
- Keep holiday decorations simple and clean. Less is more.
- Inform buyers of town plowing schedules and upkeep of neighborhood streets.
- Keep scents from candles, plug-in air fresheners, and room sprays to a minimum. Use warm and gentle fragrances. Lavender and rosemary bouquets are a natural way to scent your home.
- Encourage showings during daylight hours for maximum lighting.
- Have a timer set for indoor and outdoor lights if you won’t be home before a showing.
- Hire a professional window cleaner for indoor and outdoor cleaning. Crystal clear windows will help maximize light in the house.
- Make sure the house is warm and cozy. Add blankets, throws, and area rugs to each room. Turn the thermostat up for the showing. Have a timer set if you won’t be home.
- Keep indoor decorations simple, green, natural, and seasonally appropriate.
- Show buyers you take exceptional care of your home. Request guests to take off shoes and offer paper booties.
- Keep shovels, snow blowers, deicing materials, and winter gear stowed away.
- Provide buyers with a list of local winter and seasonal activities.
Time to create a seasonal strategy and increase your chances of selling your home this winter. Seasonal opportunities, current market trends, and simple home care and staging tips will help sell your home this winter.
What Happened to Rates Last Week:
Mortgage backed securities (MBS) lost -31 basis points from last Friday’s close which caused 30 year fixed rates to move higher from the prior week. We saw our best rates on Monday and our worst rateson Thursday.
We had a mixed bag of economic data last week. Retail Sales were stronger than expected and Initial Jobless Claims were lower than expected. These reports were positive for our economy and therefore negative for rates. Both the Consumer Price Index and the Producer Price Index were very low and demonstrated little to no inflationary pressure which is a positive for mortgage rates. Existing Home Sales were weaker than expected on a month-over-month basis but still showed strength in many areas of the housing market.
But the primary reason why mortgage rates increased from the prior week was that mortgage backed securities (MBS) sold off after the minutes from the last Fed meeting revealed that the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) expected that data would justify a taper in the coming months. Traders are focused on the following passage:
“During this general discussion of policy strategy and tactics, participants reviewed issues specific to the Committee’s asset purchase program. They generally expected that the data would prove consistent with the Committee’s outlook for ongoing improvement in labor market conditions and would thus warrant trimming the pace of purchases in coming months. However, participants also considered scenarios under which it might, at some stage, be appropriate to begin to wind down the program before an unambiguous further improvement in the outlook was apparent”
The statement above shows that there is a potential for the FOMC to alter its pace of MBS purchases even IF the labor picture does not continue to brighten. And that was certainly negative for bonds and therefore rates.
|Date||Time (ET)||Economic Release||Actual||Market Expects||Prior|
|25-Nov||10:00 AM||Pending Home Sales||–||1.30%||-5.60%|
|26-Nov||8:30 AM||Housing Starts||–||915K||891K|
|26-Nov||8:30 AM||Housing Starts||–||920K||NA|
|26-Nov||8:30 AM||Building Permits||–||932K||918K|
|26-Nov||8:30 AM||Building Permits||–||932K||NA|
|26-Nov||9:00 AM||Case-Shiller 20-city Index||–||13.00%||12.80%|
|26-Nov||9:00 AM||FHFA Housing Price Index||–||NA||0.30%|
|26-Nov||10:00 AM||Consumer Confidence||–||72.4||71.2|
|27-Nov||7:00 AM||MBA Mortgage Index||–||NA||-2.30%|
|27-Nov||8:30 AM||Initial Claims||–||330K||323K|
|27-Nov||8:30 AM||Continuing Claims||–||2875K||2876K|
|27-Nov||8:30 AM||Durable Orders||–||-2.20%||3.80%|
|27-Nov||8:30 AM||Durable Goods -ex transportation||–||0.20%||-0.20%|
|27-Nov||9:45 AM||Chicago PMI||–||58||65.9|
|27-Nov||9:55 AM||Michigan Sentiment – Final||–||73||72|
|27-Nov||10:00 AM||Leading Indicators||–||-0.10%||0.70%|
|27-Nov||10:30 AM||Crude Inventories||–||NA||0.375M|
|27-Nov||10:30 AM||Natural Gas Inventories||–||NA||-45 bcf|
I will be watching these reports closely for you and let you know if there are any big surprises:
It is virtually impossible for you to keep track of what is going on with the economy and other events that can impact the housing and mortgage markets. Just leave it to me, I monitor the live trading of Mortgage Backed Securities which are the only thing government and conventional mortgage rates are based upon.