The Julie Pogue Properties Louisville KY Real Estate Blog

Winter is the Best Time to Sell Your Home

Winter Is Apparently The Best Time To Sell Your Home. Here's How To Prep It In One Weekend.

Posted: Updated: 
Winter is known for many things, the least of which may be that it's the best season to sell a home. Granted, winter isn't exactly the most convenient time to move, but according to a study from real estate company Redfinhomes listed between December and March sell faster than homes listed in other months, and for more money. (That's been the case recent years, at least -- the market changes often).
Redfin says that anytime between December and May is an ideal time to list your home -- and February is the hands-down the best month. The company's analysis of nationwide listings from 2014 showed that 74 percent of homes listed in February sold within 90 days, and 13 percent of them sold for more than the list price. (Compare that to September, when 61 percent of homes sold within 90 days and October, when just five percent sold above list price).

In short, "shoppers in January and February are motivated," says Christin Camacho, a Redfin spokesperson. "They're looking in winter because they need to move, not because they're just looking for fun." And if people are going to brave the cold to househunt during winter, then they're going to make their effort worthwhile.

But before you pull a huge remodel to get it ready for the market, let's get one thing clear: Interior designers, realtors and home stagers almost unanimously agree thatyou should NOT stage large-scale remodels of ANY kind before selling your house. The investment, they say, simply isn't worth it.

The key to successfully selling your home lies in mini renovations -- the ones you can do on tight budgets, in a couple of days, and (most of the time) without professional help.

Feel free to breathe a sigh of relief and check out the suggestions for mini-improvements below.

Mini-remodel #1: Front porch paint job
Cost for gallon of paint: $33 Time to complete: Two days
Repainting your front door is the most important revamp to execute, says Zillow interior design expert Kerrie Kelly. A fresh coat of color -- or a whole new door, if you're in need and willing to hire professional help -- will boost your home's "curb appeal," letting visitors know they can expect good things before they even get inside. Complete the front porch look with new address plates, light fixtures, potted plants and a welcome mat.

Mini-remodel #2: New kitchen and bathroom hardware
Cost of new knobs: $25 for 10-pack Time to complete: A few hours
Kelly recommends picking up bulk packs of drawer knobs and door handles and replacing worn, rusted ones. "If you can streamline the hardware on your cabinetry, it's fantastic," she says. Oh, and organize your shelves while you're at it. "People don't like to see clutter."

Mini-remodel #3: Replace entryway light fixtures 
Cost of indoor wall lamp: $17 Time to complete: A day
It's hard for designers to pinpoint exactly why perfect lighting puts house hunters in the mood to buy, but they agree that bright, warm lighting is key. First-impression areas like the entryway are especially important.

Mini-remodel #4: Paint with neutrals
Cost for gallon of paint: $33 Time to complete: Two days
Remodeling Magazine editor Craig Webb has crunched the numbers to find out which large-scale remodels make the most returns for homeowners, and he recommends one very simple trick: "If you talk to realtors, one of the first things they'll say is to repaint." Add a coat of "light, bright and neutral" paint to any...

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Holiday Decorating Safety Tips

5 Safety Tips When Decorating the Exterior for the Holidays

Submitted by Nikos Phelps, president, Utopian Landscape, a member of The Professional Landcare Network (PLANET)

holiday house

Image courtesy of Utopian Landscapes/Christmas Décor, a member of PLANET

It’s that time of year where home owners are busy decorating their exteriors with holiday lights and making them for festival for the holidays. Many landscape and lawn care companies support their clients year-round by providing snow removal and holiday lighting in the winter. There are many safety concerns that home owners should take into consideration when putting up their own holiday lights, such as:

1. Inspect the lights and wires.

Inspect all lights, decorations and extension cords before using. Wires can become brittle.Throw lights away if there is exposed copper or broken sockets.

2. Don’t overload circuits and watch for electrical concerns.

Avoid connecting five or more strands end to end, otherwise the circuit can be overloaded. However, for many LEDs you can add more than five strands. Also, do not pull the strands too tight so they can reach an outlet. Other electrical concerns to watch for:

  • Tears in the wiring surface could result in electrocution.
  • When creating a lighting configuration on a lawn, make sure to keep connections out of depressions that could collect ground water.
  • Be sure to tape down extension cords if they cross walkways.

3. Read the labels carefully for outdoor use.

LED lights re more energy efficient and require less wattage than incandescent bulbs. But make sure the lights and extension cords are rated for indoor and outdoor use or specifically for outdoor use. Outdoor lights should be plugged into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs.). Also, don’t replace light bulbs without unplugging the light strand or decoration.

4. Take caution on rooftops or elevated areas.

Ladders should be inspected – look for lose or missing screws, hinges, bolts and nuts before using and be sure they are stable and in good condition. Be sure to ground the ladder on a solid, even surface with no risk of sliding.

Don’t overreach when on ladders. When stringing lights, climb down and move the ladder often. Also, keep ladders as far as possible from electrical lines. ?Finally, if the roof is too steep or too high, don’t risk scaling it and endangering yourself. Hire a trained landscape professional that has the training to offer unique installation methods and premium quality products with the latest trends in decoration and technology.

5. Remove lights at the end of the holiday season. Over a period of time, lights exposed to the weather can have damage to the wires, lights, and sockets. Watch for any weather damage before you tow the lights away for next year.

Blog Contributor

This post was contributed exclusively for REALTOR® Magazine.

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