Selling in Kelowna in the Winter!?

Unlike the common misconception that you must be crazy to think your house will sell in the winter, I’m here to tell you it can be done.

I have a huge whiteboard in my office, and when I say huge, I mean it almost covers an entire wall. During spring, summer, and fall, the board is covered in client information. I write down how many listings I’m showing my clients, which sale is about to close, and any additional notes to help me stay on track of the large amount of buying and selling. By the time it’s November, you’ll find my board covered in pie charts as I’m trying to map out a business strategy. The Okanagan is a famous summer destination and it’s true that most home sales happen during the warmer months, however people still buy in the Winter months. For the non-believers out there, here are a few things that can help land a sale in the winter.

High Motivation To Buy

There are buyers out there who either wait for the colder months in the hopes to get a better deal on a Kelowna property, or they have no choice but to buy in the winter (relocation due to work, unforeseen circumstances, or perhaps their home got sold and they’re looking to buy).

These buyers don’t care if it’s cold and gloomy outside. They’ve most likely done their homework, know what they’re looking for and are highly motivated to buy at or close to the listing price. In fact, I have a couple that just received an accepted offer on their home in Kamloops and will be coming up to Kelowna this weekend to buy. They need to find a place and move in before Jan 15th. Point and case… 

Low Inventory, but Also Less Competition

The winter housing market in Kelowna is not oversaturated with listings. Less inventory means less fighting for buyers’ attention, less window shoppers, and more serious buyers. Another gain for you are other sellers who take their homes off the market during the winter months, thinking it won’t sell.

The Right Asking Price

Less inventory means you have to be smart about the price. A bidding war to make more money from your listing sounds like the perfect scenario. This is not to say it couldn’t happen in the winter, but it’s less likely. Another real world example from 2 weeks ago; I was in a bidding war with a property that came on the market in West Kelowna. It was completely renovated, had a great detached garage in the backyard and priced to sell. By the time we showed it, the Sellers had already received another offer … however, we came in strong with a better price and terms, and won. Winter bidding war… 

So in the winter, list your property at market value. If you list too high and your home doesn’t sell, come spring you might end up listing for under market value and any bidding war would only be an attempt to sell your home for what it’s worth.

The Characteristics of Your Home

Take into consideration the characteristics of your home.

Do you have a steep driveway that can be treacherous when ice builds on it? How about old windows you’ve been wanting to replace? Perhaps your house is freezing or has condensation buildup inside?

Potential buyers are more likely to pay attention to window seals, drafts, the furnace, and ask questions about how energy efficient and well maintained your home is. Add insulation where needed and have your heating system maintained.

Worrying About Landscaping

Less landscaping in the winter allows for more time and resources to be spent staging your home.

You can still show the beauty of your home in the spring and summer by displaying photos of the garden and patio throughout the house. These photos can curb the buyers’ imagination and give them a chance to dream about being the new homeowners. Clean a pathway to the house if there’s snow, decorate the outside and add outdoor lighting, remove dirt, shovel the deck to allow the potential buyers experience what the outdoors feel like.

Showcasing the Beauty of Your Home

Winter staging brings out the beauty of your home and if your house is on the market around Christmas holidays, that’s an added bonus. Because winter festivities is a special time for most individuals and families, you can tap into the feelings of being in a warm and welcoming place that’s perfect to celebrate the season.

To counteract the dark days, brighten your home with light coloured walls, turn on all lights and open all windows. Add a touch of soft music, but be careful with scents. Instead of lighting scented candles, bake some treats right before the showing and offer these to the potential buyers.

Make your home feel and look cozy by decluttering and adding neutral but coordinated accents (throws, pillows, stand up lamps, and so on).

An Added Bonus

If you’ve done your best to prepare your home for sale and it doesn’t sell, you are a step ahead of other sellers. You’ve have added upgrades, decluttered and painted your house, and are ready to sell in the spring or summer.

Winter can highlight the worst of your home, but an experienced realtor can help you with that. If you’re ready to sell your Kelowna home but have more questions or doubts, get in touch, I’m here to answer your questions.

“Life is short. Live somewhere awesome.” – Grundy 

 

Kelowna Realtor Recognized as Leader in Canadian Real Estate

Sitting alone in her home office, a space where she spends many of her waking hours, Kelowna real estate agent Danielle Grundy works by the faint glow of her favourite vintage desk lamp, the one that shines just enough light to illuminate the large but organized stack of documents spread across her desk. Combined with the bright glow of a full moon, it offers the perfect lighting to assist her in completing the last minute details of her final home sales of 2017.

It’s a late night ritual that has become common place for the Kelowna real estate agent over the past 4 years as she’s worked to become one of the top agents with Century 21 Assurance Realty.

Her success in the industry hasn’t come easy, it’s meant long hours, with most days starting at 7am and lasting into the wee hours of the night, but it’s one she wouldn’t trade for anything.

“When I started my career in real estate I had clear goals, I knew what I wanted and how I was going to accomplish it. It hasn’t been easy, but I love what I do and that passion drives me each and every day to do whatever it takes to be successful.” she says.

Her success comes as no surprise to those who know the West Kelowna native, with a familiar sentiment being “don’t get in Danielle’s way”. It’s a drive and determination that has burned deep within for as long as she can remember and it’s taken her to places she only dreamed of as a youngster. From playing University and professional hockey, to earning both an Undergraduate Degree in Psychology and Brain Sciences and a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA), she’s achieved success in every personal and professional quest she’s taken on.

“They’re numbers that have led her to the top 1% of agents within Century 21 across Canada”

How has this conviction towards success benefited the 34 year old when it comes to the world of real estate? For one, it’s driven her to become one of the top young agents in Canada, closing nearly 50 deals (that’s almost one per week) in each of the last two years. They’re numbers that have led her to the top 1% of agents within Century 21 across Canada and has earned her Centurian Status the last 3 straight years. She was also named one of the top 40 under 40 business people in Kelowna by the Chamber of Commerce in 2017. Finally it’s earned her recognition as one of the top 100 real estate agents in Canada under 35 by Real Estate Professional magazine as part of their 2017 young guns report.

As one of only 14 agents from British Columbia and 2 from Kelowna chosen as part of the yearly report, Grundy was thrilled to be recognized for her continued commitment to not only the industry, but also the great clients she has the chance to work with on a daily basis.

“The best part of my job is the feeling I get when I hand over the keys to my clients for the first time. It’s an extremely fulfilling moment knowing I’ve helped them find the perfect home that they’ll enjoy for years to come.” she says.

“If you’re willing to put in the time and effort to be successful, real estate is an amazing career”

The accomplishments of Danielle and the others on the list are impressive, especially considering a majority of agents in Canada leave the profession after only 2 years. Equally impressive is the realization that after only 4 years in the industry she’s moved more real estate than most agents will manage to move in their entire career. It all showcases what makes her a leader in helping drive the future of the real estate industry forward in Kelowna and across Canada.

“If you’re willing to put in the time and effort to be successful, real estate is an amazing career. It’s not easy, but if you give it everything you have and commit 100% of your energy towards your clients, you can be very successful and have a fulfilling career.” she says.

As she focuses on growing within the industry, Danielle is not only driven towards her own continued success but also helping create a positive movement within the industry, especially within the realm of digital media. (link to Realty Labs blog post) As a digital marketing entrepreneur she operates a website design and marketing company, Realty Labs, on-top of her successful real estate business.

“I see digital marketing as the way of the future for real estate agents. I’ve learned a lot over the past 4 years that has helped contribute to my success and I want to now pass that along to other realtors who are looking for support.” she says.

With a drive to not only achieve personal success but also help others advance within the industry, it appears there’s no stopping the 34 year-old from reaching whatever goals she sets out to achieve. At the end of the day many would say this means “don’t get in Danielle’s way”.

Written by Brendan Osborne