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  • Writer's pictureKaren Packard

Getting Ready for Winter

As we get closer to winter, it’s important to meet with your realtor and come up with the best plan for your listing. In many cases, taking your house off the market before the holidays can be the best course of action at this time of year. The number of buyers looking for a house during the holiday season drastically decreases and your listing will continue to accumulate “days on market.”

MLS calculates how many days your home has been listed for sale. Buyers and buyer’s agents will look at this number to see when the house was listed. If your house is listed for too many days, it sends a message that your home was not desirable enough for someone to buy. Usually, the reason it has remained on the market is either that it’s priced too high or needs repairs and/or updates that have not been done. These implied reasons can prevent people from making an appointment to see your property.

If you’re concerned about sending the wrong message about your home with too many days on market, you may want to consider taking your house off the market for a couple of months during the holidays and through the cold weather in January. Being off the market for more than 60 days allows the MLS to reset your days on market. When you relist your house in MLS after 60 days, you will be back down to 0 days.

This is just one strategy that might work if your house has not sold this fall. Sitting down with your agent to discuss a variety of strategies is extremely important so that you know you’re on the same page with the best way to market your house effectively.

Another important discussion to have with your real estate agent is the plan for spring. Whether you were already listed this fall or planning to list for the first time this spring, set up an appointment to meet with your agent now. Having an expert to take a look at your home early is the best way to ensure your house is ready to list at the best price, condition and best timing for next spring. I have many clients calling me now to do a walk-through of their house and see which improvements need to be done over the winter to maximize the list price for their property. By planning ahead, this allows them three to four months to do any projects that are needed to be completed before listing.

I want to help my sellers get the best price for their property and sometimes a few minor (or major) projects need to be done to appeal to today’s buyers. A good realtor can help you determine which projects will give you a return on your investment and which will be a waste of time or money.

Have a Real Estate Question?

Feel free to email me any of your questions and I would be happy to answer them next month in this column or directly to you. Email me at

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