How to Sell your Home during the Winter
Spring is usually when the housing market begins to rebound, but not everyone is ready to move after the snow melts. In fact, in some situations, like moving for work, you can try to sell your home during the winter months.
But a slight frost on the windows doesn’t mean you should be discouraged. While selling a home in the off-season can seem overwhelming, you can increase your chances of success by adjusting your sales strategy to suit the time of year.
Tips for Selling Your Home During the Winter Months
Selling a home in winter is not the same as selling in spring or summer. Many different factors to consider, ranging from less natural light to just the right amount of seasonal décor.
If you plan to sell your home in the winter, use these tips to impress potential buyers.
1. Prepare your home for winter
Organizing to sell a home in winter means doing everything to create a cozy and comfortable environment. Visiting winter buyers need to see the full potential of their home to imagine living in the property.
In winter, it’s all about helping future homeowners to imagine themselves curled up in front of the fireplace or enjoying a cup of hot cider.
Use blankets and pillows on sofas and armchairs to inspire a feeling of comfort and warmth. Leave a kettle on the stove to spark thoughts about hot chocolate and tea. If you decide to use scents, stick with seasonal flavors like cinnamon and cloves.
Put away all off-season items and snow gear and have a coat rack ready for potential buyers. It sets the stage for an idyllic warm winter season as snowflakes gently swirl outside the window.
2. Make lighting a priority
Lighting is one of the trickiest parts of selling a home in winter. Because the sun sets earlier and rises later, you will have much less natural light to work with during photos and screenings.
To let in as much sun as possible, clean your windows (interior and exterior) and open blinds and curtains. Replace dimmed bulbs with brighter bulbs.
At night or on gray and cloudy days, use ambient lights to create a cozy atmosphere. Flameless candles, lamps, and track lights are a great way to illuminate dark corners and hallways without looking too harsh.
If you need to take advertising photos or film a 3D tour in winter, schedule them for late morning or early afternoon on a sunny day so potential buyers visiting your home at night can get an idea. It seems when the sun rises.
3. Maintain a comfortable temperature
Part of evoking a warm atmosphere is the temperature in your home. It will be challenging to emit a friendly atmosphere if your thermostat is lowered to 60 degrees. Keep your home warm, at least for visitors, so potential buyers can focus on your property instead of chattering their teeth.
If you have a fireplace, light it before a projection to give off heat and add atmosphere.
4. Clean Everything
No matter what season you sell a home in, you probably already know how to do a lot of housework. In winter, harsher lighting, longer indoors, and disuse can make parts of your home dirtier than in spring or summer. Take stock of:
- Dust off ceiling fans that are no longer in use
- Clean closet doors and light switches
- Shake and vacuum the rugs
- Clean baseboard heaters, boiler rooms, and floor vents.
- Set aside a rubber mat or boot tray to collect snow, salt, and sleet.
- Cleans watermarks and salt stains from floors throughout the interior
- You should also wash any wet snow gear, such as gloves and coats, to ensure that the main entrance does not have an unpleasant or unpleasant odor. If your dry boots or gloves are in a floor vent, store them once they are dry to reduce clutter.
5. Show your home in other seasons
Even if a potential buyer visits your home in the winter, that doesn’t mean they can’t show you what it looks like in the spring or summer. If possible, take photos of your property in other seasons when the grass is green and flowers are blooming so that your real estate agent can include them in their listings.
You can also create a physical photo album that guests can browse during visits. Show your yard, garden, and patio when they are at their best so buyers can see how attractive your home is year-round.
6. Pay attention to the curb appeal
While it is true that you will not have to do as much landscaping in cold weather, it is essential to keep your yard clean and tidy. The curb appeal of your winter home has a massive impact on a buyer’s first impression of your property, mainly when you can rely on lush landscaping and green grass to set the mood.
Make sure your property looks well-maintained and inviting before buyers hit the front door at:
- Use of exterior lighting along driveways and driveways.
- Display winter planters on your front step
- Clean dead leaves, plants, and flowers
- Store seasonal items like decor, furniture, flower pots, and garden tools.
7. Keep seasonal decor to a minimum
While a Christmas tree and some outdoor lights can make the holiday season bright for you, not all potential buyers share your cultural beliefs or decorative tastes.
And while you don’t have to give up decorating entirely, you should keep your Christmas decorations unobtrusive and straightforward. For example, multi-colored lights and Santa’s mechanical dance can appear tacky and distract potential buyers from the most attractive features in your home.
Instead, use white lights and natural decor like greenery to give your home an appropriately festive look without being overwhelming. Also, try limiting your decorations to one place in your home, like the living room, rather than scattering them throughout the house. This will allow you to enjoy the season without distracting buyers visiting your home.
Avoid decorating anything a home buyer wants to see. For example, covering stair railings with pine garlands may look stunning, but it will mask the staircase’s structural and aesthetic aspects that home seekers might want to consider.
Don’t leave them on for too long if you opt for Christmas decorations. Instead, put them on in December and take them off at the beginning of the New Year.
8. Be flexible with evaluations
As a door-to-door salesperson, you already know that you need to organize visits and open houses. But in winter you have to be more flexible than in the summer months. Various factors can impact when your real estate agent shows your home, storms, poor driving conditions with less natural light, and vacation obligations.
This may mean that you need to allow prospective homebuyers to reschedule a visit or book a second visit on more favorable terms.
You can always inform your real estate agent when your home is closed to visitors, such as on Christmas Day or New Year’s Eve, but if not, stay as open as possible.
While you will benefit from less competition in the winter, fewer home buyers are also this time of year. It means that you have to be available for those who come. If you are not flexible in inclement weather or if you allow multiple evaluations, you risk extending your door-to-door sales experience.
9. Shovel, salt, and driveways
One of the reasons winter is not a good time to sell is because you have to deal with ice and snow. Make sure buyers can easily walk to outbuildings, such as garages or sheds, and keep your driveway, driveways, patios, and decks free of snow and ice so potential buyers can access them on the go, safe, and view all of your property.
Don’t lead visitors across a snowbank or relive learning to skate to get to your front door.
10. Keep up with seasonal maintenance
If you live in a colder climate, you know the seasonal tasks you need to do to winterize your home each year. This includes responsibilities such as:
- Have your oven or HVAC system cleaned and inspected
- Use of caulk and weatherstripping to seal drafts from doors and windows
- Gutter clearing and tree pruning
- Checking the roof for damage
- Chimney inspection reservation
- Meeting these obligations when selling your home means that you won’t have to worry about them during visits. For example, it would be embarrassing and impractical for your oven to stop working right before a potential buyer shows up.
And as a bonus, performing these maintenance tasks will help you pass a home inspection if you get an offer.
If you plan to sell your home in the winter, not preparing for the season is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when selling a home. Selling a house in cold weather is not impossible; it takes a little foresight.
Please focus on the comfort and convenience of your property, keep a snow shovel handy, and be flexible when it comes to taking tours to turn your listing into someone else’s new home.