This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Eli Tucker, Arlington-based Realtor and Rosslyn resident. Please submit your questions to him via email for response in future columns. Enjoy!
Question: I just listed my home for sale and now it’s covered in two feet of snow. How bad is this?
It’s certainly not going to make selling your home easier and if you’re in the first 30 days of your listing (the most likely window to get a full offer), it’s a tough break, but hope is not totally lost. While showing activity and chances of receiving an offer will be low, internet search activity will be up. If your Realtor brought in a great photographer for some eye-catching pictures, this storm may actually help you sell your home by attracting extra attention online.
- Shovel walkways and parking. Make sure there are at least two clearly visible places to park.
- If vacant, keep the heat running so your home is a pleasant place to escape the cold. This is good winterization practice to prevent pipes from bursting too.
- Add a weather mat, shoe rack/mat, and a basket of shoe slipcovers to prevent dirt and water being tracked through your home.
- If you’re taking listing photos now, don’t use an exterior photo with snow everywhere as your first picture unless it really works. Open with another appealing photo and consider taking new exterior photos once the snow melts.
- Follow-up immediately with anybody who sees your property over the next week. Only the most serious, interested buyers are trekking out to properties right now.
During Snowmagedon Feb 5-6 2010, we got about 18 inches of snow. Here’s a look at the number of homes that went under contract before, during, and after that period. It took about 2 weeks for activity to pick back up to “normal” levels.
On average, sellers took a 3.3% reduction from list price (including seller credits) on the 89 contracts from 2/5-2/20.
If you have the flexibility to wait another week to put your home on the market, it’s in your best interest to do so. You can consult your Realtor about using the Coming Soon feature for now, which allows you a limited listing without accruing days on market (key metric to maximize sale price).
Remember, you’re not the only house for sale in Arlington dealing with the impact of the blizzard, so the competitive playing field is (mostly) level. Good luck and stay strong. 45+ degree weather and sun are around the corner!
Eli Tucker is a licensed Realtor in Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland with Real Living At Home, 2420 Wilson Blvd #101 Arlington, VA 22201, (202) 518-8781.
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