When to list a home on the marketplace

RAPID CITY, S.D. — While national averages suggest that summer is the peak time to buy and sell homes, the Rapid City area has proven to be busy for most of the year.

Many sources will say that spring is the best time to add a home to the market. The idea behind the “selling season” is that buyers are willing to explore their options as the weather warms up. Now, averages and statistics can only go so far in predicting buyer behavior, and Rapid City seems to be a place that only loosely follows the averages.

And even the buyers in the area can’t be predicted. “Each buyer is different,” says Gina Kimball, Realtor at Coldwell Banker. “I’ve shown a buyer one home and they made that purchase, but I also have buyers I’ve been showing homes to for a year. I honestly don’t have an average number.” Rain, snow or sun, it seems there is nothing that will keep Rapid City buyers out of the market.

Kimball says that she remains busy throughout the calendar year. Still, she did admit that while she stays busy all year, “summer is busier and the most convenient time of the year to move.”

And as the area inches closer to winter, Kimball says that there is only one thing that keeps buyers from exploring housing options — the holidays. Family obligations and extended travelling will keep some buyers from even thinking about finding a new home. Once the holiday stress is gone, though, the market becomes appealing once again.

So if the time of year really doesn’t impact how busy the Rapid City market is, what should prospective sellers do to make their home stand out?

Instead of relying on a particular season to come around, sellers need to focus on ensuring that their home will make a strong first impression regardless of the month. Kimball stresses the need of a good first impression. If a buyer can’t see themselves living in a home because of some basic maintenance issues, the home will have a harder time selling.

The first thing every homeowner needs to do before putting their property on the market is cleaning and decluttering. While taking down family photos and other personal belongings can be hard, it’s important to remember that the purpose of showing a home is to let the prospective buyer to see themselves living in the space.

After the home has been decluttered, the next step is to make sure the space outside appearance is enough to make a buyer remember the home. Kimball stresses that a home’s curb appeal makes a huge impression on a buyer. Whether it’s keeping up on lawn maintenance in August or cleaning up the snow and ice in January, a buyer will remember the walk into the home just as clearly as they will remember the walk through the home.

Once a homeowner takes these first steps, it is important to bring in a Realtor to examine the home with a fresh pair of eyes. They will be looking for all the things that a buyer may love or hate about the home. That way, they can only show the home to those who would strongly consider buying it.

“Each buyer is different and is looking for something different,” Kimball says. “It’s important to listen to each buyer and ask lots of questions so I know what to show them.”

Buyers in the Black Hills are resilient, and a little bit unpredictable. Just because snow has started to fly in the Black Hills area does not mean your home needs to stay off the market until spring. Contact a Realtor you trust and listen to their advice to get the fastest sale you can, regardless of the season.

You can learn more about Gina Kimball and the services she provides as a Realtor by visiting http://www.ginakimballrealtor.com/.

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