When it comes to selling your home, the process can be time-consuming and stressful. Even though as a seller you may be skeptical to place your house on the market during the winter, take advantage of the lack of inventory and play up the winter season. Here are a few tips on how to sell your home in the winter and the home selling process a little simpler.
If you want prospective buyers to be able to safely enter your home then make sure you keep the sidewalk, driveway and front doorsteps clear of ice and snow. It also helps to make your house look well-maintained; similar to raking the leaves in the fall. If you’re not living in the home, or not home enough to keep on top of the snow, hire a service to salt and shovel the driveway and walkways.
Keep it warm
Part of making a home inviting to an interested buyer involves making it feel warm and cozy. You don’t want potential buyers looking at your home shivering as they walk around inside. Make sure you keep the thermostat higher if you know people are coming to look at the home, and if you’ll be there during the showing, set a fire in the fireplace.
During this time of year when daylight hours are at a minimum, light is important. Open the shades and let in as much sunlight as you can. Also make sure all the light fixtures are clean, and use bulbs with the highest wattage that they can safely handle. Turn on lights whenever you show the home to make it shine.
Have clean windows
Unkempt and dirty windows can turn off buyers before they even enter a house, and a strong light in the winter can reveal grime that otherwise wouldn’t be as noticeable. Make the windows as clean as possible and improve a potential buyer’s first impression.
Make it look comfortable
Keeping with the theme of making your house feel like a home, small touches go a long way; throw blanket or on a sofa and a large folded-over comforter on a bed. Make the buyers see themselves’ comfortably living in the home.
Is your home on a street that gets plowed often or next door to a school so that kids don’t have to wait in the cold for a school bus? Make sure to emphasize the ways your home makes it convenient to deal with inconvenient weather.
Use timers on lights
In the spirit of keeping your home well illuminated, setting up timers on the inside and outdoor lights can make sure your home looks good at dusk and at night. Also pay attention to the light around the front door, and make sure it’s bright enough to seem inviting.
Make it feel festive
When showing a home, you want to make possible buyers feel like they’re invited guests. Set the dinner table with your good china, if you can leave small snacks and drinks like cookies and cider, do that too. You don’t want the home too look stale – reflect the possibilities the home has for entertaining guests when showing your house.
Keep an inviting aroma
The one sense of the human body that sellers may neglect the most is the sense of smell. Make your home pleasing to the nose. Scents to use for the winter season include: cinnamon rolls, chocolate chip cookies, apple pie, and vanilla. Make sure you don’t overdo it with scented candles and incense everywhere – you don’t want buyers to feel like they walked down the perfume isle and can’t breathe. If your home suffers from musty odors and pet smells, clean those areas thoroughly and replace or clean rugs and fabrics that may hold those bad smells.
It may seem inconvenient to potential buyers to be asked to remove their shoes or slip on rubber shoe-covers before walking around the home. But some buyers will see that you’re very picky about maintaining a certain quality and cleanliness – and it will reflect well on the state of the house in general.
Decorate to the season
Don’t keep the Christmas tree or Hanukkah lights up after the holidays are over, but other seasonally appropriate decorations can help make a home more inviting, such as decorative wreaths and dried arrangements around the door.
Use winter to your advantage
Some homes can use winter as a selling point. Is there a popular ski resort close by? Is there a great sledding hill down the street? People want to hear about the winter perks they will enjoy living in your home.
If you are planning on selling your home, or know of someone who is thinking about putting their house on the market this winter, contact your local Homesale Agent. For more tips for sellers check out our previous article, Secrets for Selling Your Home.