Ask the expert

Off-season home sale success

We don't want to wait until spring or summer to sell our home. What are the best tips and tricks for a successful off-season home sale?

Most sellers associate the summer months with the best time to sell a home, and while this is generally true, the summer months are also when there is the most competition in the market. I have found that the real estate market starts to gain momentum sooner than most sellers are aware.

I always recommend my clients try to put their property on the market in early February because the inventory is low during this time, but the buyer activity usually starts to pick up by then. Winter months are harder to showcase some of the exterior features of a home that might be a source of pride for a seller, like gardening, landscaping, decking or other exterior features that can really make a home stand out in the summertime. A great tip is to include summer pictures in most of your marketing materials such as photos on the Multiple Listing Service, color flyers on the yard sign, ads in magazines, or any type of online advertising.

It is important to always make sure the interior is free of clutter and very clean. If you have a nice printer, it's a great idea to have a three-ring binder you can fill with summer pictures and leave it in the kitchen for a buyer to view. A savvy seller can also have a very professional book of their home photos made at Costco, Walmart or online with Shutterfly, Snapfish or Mixbook, just to name a few. This will provide a great way to showcase all the work you did over the summer while you are trying to sell your home during the winter months. It also makes a great gift for the new buyer or a nice keepsake for a seller leaving their beloved home.

John O'Hara has over 23 years of real estate expertise and specializes in representing clients in the purchase and sale of single-family residences and income property within the Municipality of Anchorage and the surrounding areas. Visit