Winter real estate market for Pendleton area… why list now???

I met with sellers winter homelast week to discuss listing their home, market value and the competition currently on the market in the Pendleton area.  Most homeowners are in holiday mode right now and not thinking about listing their home.  There are advantages to being listed during the winter holiday season.  #1. Less competition in the market.  #2.  Serious buyers…life doesn’t pause for everyone during the holidays. There are people who need to buy homes in Dec and January.  Events such as job transfers, change in family status, downsizing, etc. happen at all times of the year.  Those buyers who are out looking at homes now usually have an urgency to buy.

I did a little research to see what our Pendleton market currently looks like.  Below you will see how many active listings there currently are for each price range and how many homes have sold thus far.  Right now there are 89 homes on the market in Pendleton & South Madison school districts.  They range in list price between $15,000 and $499,900.

ACTIVE LISTINGS                                               SOLD IN 1st – 3rd QTR-2012

$0-$60K                 8 listings                                             16 sold homes

$61k-$100 k          13 listings                                            18 sold homes

$101k -$125k         24 listings                                           20 sold homes

$126k-$150k           17 listings                                          17 sold homes

$151k-$175k           7 listings                                             23 sold homes

$176-$250k            7 listings                                             6 sold homes

$251k- $300k         5 listings                                             3 sold homes

$301k-$400            6 listings                                             1 sold homes

$400-$500              2 listings                                             3 sold homes

$500 +                    0 listings                                             2 sold homes

I already knew our inventory for the $150-$175 price range was scarce, as I still have several qualified buyers in this price range waiting on more homes to list.  If you are holding off for spring to put that FOR SALE sign in your yard you may want to consider beating the competition to the market place and list soon.  Here are a few helpful tips for those homeowners who want to take advantage of the winter market…

1. Keep snow and ice at bay.
If the buyer can’t get in easily, the house won’t sell. That means keeping walkways and driveways free of the frozen stuff. Just like trimming the lawn in the summer, you want to make the home look like it’s been maintained

2. Warm it up.
If you’re showing during the winter, think “warm, cozy and homey”.  Before a buyer comes through, adjust the thermostat to a warmer temperature to make it welcoming. Buyers who come in and aren’t comfortable won’t stay long. If you have a gas fireplace, turning it on right before the tour can give the house a little ambience.

3. Take advantage of natural light.
Make the most of the light you do have. Have the curtains and blinds cleaned and open them as wide as possible during daytime showings. Clean all the lamps and built-in fixtures, and replace the bulbs with the highest wattage that they will safely accommodate. Before you show the house, turn on all the lights.

4. Play music softly in the background.
To create a little atmosphere, tune the radio to the local classical station. Turn it down so that you barely hear it in the background. It’s soothing and I think people tend to stay around a little longer and look a little longer.

5. Make it festive.
Greet your buyers as if they were going to be guests at a party.  Set up the dinner table with the good china and silver. Have a plate of cookies for your guests, some warm cider or even chilled bottles of water.  First impressions are so powerful. It will look as though you are greeting the buyers as company.

6. Give the home a nice aroma.
Some popular scents: cinnamon rolls, freshly baked bread, apple pie, apple cider or anything with vanilla, cinnamon or yeast.  But don’t overdo it, scented candles in every room or those plug-in air fresheners can leave buyers wondering what you’re trying to mask.  Watch the bad smells, too. Pet smells, smoke and musty odors can cling to curtains and carpets.

7. Use the season to your advantage.
While the holidays are over (and the Christmas and Hanukkah stuff should come down), you can still use winter wreaths and dried arrangements around the door to spark interest. Anything seasonally appropriate is fun.

If you or someone you know have interest in buying or selling a Pendleton/ Madison County home please contact me at or 765 425 3606.  Connect with me at to stay up to date on the local real estate market.



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