Many people put their homes on the market in the spring and summer seasons when the weather is nice and more potential buyers are out and about. However, if you’re trying to sell your home during winter, don’t worry — it’s still possible! Many buyers purposefully wait until winter to avoid the busy market’s hustle and bustle and try to secure a better price. Here are 12 tips to help you sell your house in the winter quickly and for top dollar.
One: Curb Appeal
Curb appeal is always important, but it’s especially crucial when selling your home in the winter. Curb appeal is the buyer’s first impression of your home, setting the tone for their viewing experience.
Because the real estate market is notoriously slower in the winter, you need to do everything you can to make an excellent first impression. Fortunately, there are a few easy ways to maximize your curb appeal, even in the middle of winter.
Landscaping is always important, so ensure your yard is well-groomed and debris-free. Some of the best winter landscaping includes evergreens and other plants that will stay green throughout the cold, such as pine trees, boxwood shrubs, and ornamental grasses.
Change window and door screens to ones that are appropriate for winter weather.
Consider outdoor seasonal decor, such as holiday lights and a door wreath, to draw attention to the home’s peace, love, comfort, and joy of the winter season.
Two: Maximize Views and Sell the Lifestyle
When selling a home in a winter wonderland, it’s essential to highlight the seasonal lifestyle. In some cases, especially with exquisite snow-filled views and great winter activities, buyers are looking for a home that will provide them with an authentic winter experience. Here are some tips for selling a home in a winter wonderland:
Emphasize the outdoor amenities: If your home has a backyard with a sledding hill or is within walking distance of cross-country ski trails, mention these features in your listing. When marketing your home, note the nearby resorts, outdoor ice-skating rinks, and other winter activities. These will help draw buyers seeking an actual winter lifestyle experience.
Sell the coziness factor: A crackling fireplace, warm blankets, and hot cocoa by the fire are all part of the winter experience. Include photos of your home that highlight these cozy features.
Promote the community spirit: In many small towns, winter is a time when neighbors come together for sledding parties and bonfires. If your community has this atmosphere, mention it in your listing.
By accentuating the unique aspects of a winter lifestyle, you can attract buyers looking for a true winter experience.
Three: Add as Much Light as Possible
Winter can be a tricky time to sell a house. The shorter days and gray skies make the most spacious home feel small and dark. That’s why it’s important to pay special attention to lighting when listing your house during winter.
You can do a few simple things to brighten your property inside and out. For the exterior, ensure all outdoor lights are in working order and consider adding additional landscape lighting to highlight key features of your yard. In the interior, take advantage of natural light by opening blinds and curtains during showings.
You may also want additional lamps or lighter-colored bulbs to create a warm, inviting atmosphere.
By taking a few extra steps to add light to your home, you’ll help it stand out from the competition and appeal to potential buyers.
Four: Seal Drafts in Windows and Doors
The process of readying a house for sale is called staging. Staging aims to make the home appealing to the most significant number of potential buyers and to sell it quickly and for the best possible price. There are four key steps to staging a house: decluttering, depersonalizing, cleaning, and accentuating the space.
To declutter, remove any items you won’t need before moving, such as old clothes, toys, books and magazines, and even extra furniture. This will help potential buyers envision their own belongings in the space.
Depersonalizing involves removing items such as family photos and collectibles and anything controversial or offensive, such as political or religious memorabilia.
Once the house has been decluttered and depersonalized, it’s time to clean. Deep cleaning is essential in making a good impression on potential buyers. Every surface should be sparkling clean, including windows, floors, countertops, and appliances.
After the house has been decluttered, depersonalized, and cleaned, it’s time to accentuate the space. This means arranging furniture to create an open and inviting floor plan. It may also involve adding strategic accents, such as throw pillows, decorative blankets, and fresh flowers.
In the winter months, it’s also important to stage the house for warmth and comfort. This can be done by adding seasonal decor such as a festive wreath or a few evergreen branches. Adding a few scented candles can also create a cozy atmosphere that will make potential buyers feel at home.
Six: Maintain a Comfortable Temperature
Creating a comfortable temperature inside the home is essential when showing your house for sale. Buyers are naturally drawn to inviting and comfortable homes, and a warm or cool temperature can make all the difference.
Moreover, potential buyers will spend more time in a comfortable home, allowing them to get a feel for the property. And finally, a comfortable temperature will make buyers more relaxed, which could lead to a better offer.
Seven: Professional Photos and Videos
When listing your house for sale, it’s always essential to use high-quality photos and videos. Many homebuyers start their search online, and the pictures and videos dictate whether those buyers will take the next step and schedule a showing. But professional photos and videos are crucial during winter.
The shorter days and lack of sunlight make even the most well-lit rooms look dark and uninviting. You must also show pictures of the outside of the home during various seasons so buyers can see what it looks like in different parts of the year. Doing so will give potential buyers a better grasp of what they’re getting into – and you’re more likely to find a buyer who’s ready to make an offer.
Eight: Price for a Winter Real Estate Market
Regarding pricing your home to sell in a winter market, there are a few important things to keep in mind.
First, you don’t want to price too high. This can turn potential buyers away, as they may feel you’re not motivated to sell.
On the other hand, you don’t want to price too low. This can signal that your home is worth less than it is.
An excellent real estate agent can help you find the right balance. They will consider the current market conditions and trends, as well as your home’s unique features. With their help, you can price your home effectively and attract serious buyers.
Nine: Keep Driveway and Sidewalks Safe
Sellers must keep their driveways and sidewalks free of ice and snow during showings for a few reasons. The most important reason is safety. Buyers, their agents, and other people touring the home could slip and fall if the surfaces are icy. This could lead to an injury. In addition, it would be difficult for people with mobility issues to tour the home if they can’t safely get to the front door.
Another reason to keep the walkways clear is that it creates a wrong impression if potential buyers trudge through snow or navigate around ice patches. It looks like the seller doesn’t care about the property’s condition, which could make them think twice about making an offer.
So, for safety and aesthetic reasons, keeping your driveway and sidewalks clear of ice and snow during showings is essential.
Ten: Stay On Top of Winter Maintenance
When listing your home for sale during the winter, it’s vital to maintain the property well. This means more than just keeping the driveway and sidewalks clear of ice and accumulating snow and the doors and windows free of drafts. You’ll also need to pay attention to the roof, gutters, and outdoor plumbing to avoid costly repairs down the road.
To maintain the roof, gutters, and plumbing, you’ll need to inspect them periodically. This way, you can spot any damage before it becomes a more severe problem. If you do find any issues, be sure to get them fixed as soon as possible. Taking care of these problems now could save you money and hassle in the long run.
Eleven: Be Flexible for Showings
The winter months can be a busy time for potential buyers, so it’s important to be flexible when they want to tour the property. You never know when someone might decide to make an offer, so you’ll need to accommodate their schedule as much as possible.
In addition, you’ll need to remember that bad weather can affect showings. If there’s a blizzard or power outage, buyers may be unable to make it out. So, stay in touch with your real estate agent about appointments with potential buyers and reschedule showings when necessary.
Twelve: Work with the Best Agent
When selling a house in the winter months, partnering up with an experienced and knowledgeable real estate agent is important. They’ll be able to guide you through the process and give advice on what works best during this season.
A good agent will understand how to market your home for a winter real estate market, price your home competitively, and suggest ways to make your home stand out in a less popular market.
Working with a great agent will help you get the best deal possible when selling your home in winter.
Selling a home in the winter months may seem daunting, but with the proper preparation and strategy, you can attract serious buyers.
Focus on stellar curb appeal and clever staging. Keep your driveway and sidewalks clear of ice and snow for safety reasons, maintain the property well to avoid costly repairs down the road, and be flexible when potential buyers want to tour.
It would be best if you also worked with a great real estate agent who understands how to market and price your home for the winter season. With these tips, you can successfully sell your home during winter.