Winter is by far the trickiest season to sell a home. Most people think it’s because there isn’t anyone buying when it’s cold outside. The fact is people move all the time – even in the winter. The challenges associated with selling a house in the winter has more to do with cold temperatures, inclement weather and reduced daylight hours. But don’t wait until spring. While there are challenges to selling in the winter there are benefits too. As the holidays pass and a fresh year starts, buyers begin browsing for a new house – a new year, a fresh start, a new home. With fewer homes on the market in the winter, yours will get more attention from buyers. If you up the cozy factor, making the most of winter assets and paying attention to details, you can make your house really stand out.
1: Keep your house warm. Keeping your home the right temperature is an important aspect of presenting your house to potential buyers, regardless of the season. If your house is too cold it’ll set off alarm bells with potential buyers by making them think the furnace is broken. Setting your thermostat at 68 degrees is usually agreeable to most people.
2: Turn on the lights. With dusk arriving so much earlier in the winter, it’s especially important to make sure buyers see your home as a bright, inviting space. Be sure that every light is on — even for daytime showings. Winter days can be quite dim, and your house will look its best when it’s as warmly lit as possible. An added bonus to doing this is you get some curb appeal – a home’s exterior looks great with all of the lights turned on!
3: Display pictures of your home’s exterior in the spring, summer and fall so buyers can see what the home will look like in every season.
4: Clear all exterior pathways of snow and ice. Nothing will turn away potential buyers faster than a treacherously icy path. Buyers should be able to easily walk all the way around the house and access outbuildings.
5: Decorate for the holidays. Buyers want to be able to envision living in your home, so it pays to make that vision as inviting as possible. Twinkling lights, green wreaths or topiary, and a decorated tree near Christmas are a great way to deck the halls. Just make sure you don’t overdo it. A house overly cluttered with holiday decor can be a real turnoff.
6: Have a warm, crackling fire. If you have a gas fireplace or new, clean-burning woodstove, go ahead and light a fire to welcome visitors. But if your home’s wood-burning fireplace is older and leaves a smoky smell in the room, hold off.
7: Make it cozy: People want to feel cozy in the winter, especially when they’ve traveled through the cold to get to your house. Your home should be as decluttered and depersonalized as possible but feel free to add a few cozy elements like throw pillows and an extra blanket.
You never get a second chance at a first impression. These tips will help you have safe and successful showings in the winter.