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5 things you can do to sell your home this winter

12.20.17

Selling a home in the winter comes with its challenges. However, we believe that there are plenty of good reasons to list in the coldest of seasons. With fewer properties on the market, there is obviously less competition, and a better chance to stand out. Here are five actions that you can take to set yourself apart from other residences that may be competing for your potential buyers:

 

1. Make Your Exterior Safe and Inviting

This is the first part of your home that buyers see, and you want to make it easy and pleasant to navigate. If it has snowed, be sure to shovel your walkway, creating a clear path from their car to your door. If it hasn’t snowed, heed the same advice for leaves or other debris caused by winter winds. Once the buyers reach your door, have a mat available for their wet umbrellas or rain boots.

 

Since winter tends to be darker than spring or summer make sure there is enough light inviting buyers into your home. Keep outside lights on on gray days, or consider motion-sensor lights at your door and along your walkway.

 

2. Create a Feeling of Warmth

Buyers will not want to stick around if your home is cold or drafty. Turn on that heat! Inspire them to stay, keep warm, and take in the little details of the property. Even better, put a fire in the fireplace if you have one. This detail is welcoming, and it shows buyers that your fireplace is clean, swept, and ready for use. And imagine how well your warm home will fare on those cold days of house-hunting. Of course, only do this during an open house, or if there will be someone present at all times.

 

3. Set Yourself Apart in the Details

Setting yourself apart from the other homes on the market can’t hurt. Having fresh and warm edibles available is always a nice touch. Set out a carafe of hot coffee or tea along with a plate of seasonal snacks. Cookies and muffins are common, but you can go with something different as long it’s easy to eat. Be sure to put out disposable cups and napkins, and have a trash receptacle nearby, of course.

 

Another nice touch is leaving out signs or cards giving buyers information on your home that may be not available on the flyer. Noting things like antique features, included appliances, etc. not only eliminates some guessing games, it also gets people excited about those little details that make your place special.

 

4. Keep Your Home Comfortable for a Broad Audience

You never know who will be looking at your property, so you want it to be comfortable for a variety of people. You can do this by:

  • Using natural seasonal scents around your home. It’s tempting to just light some candles and call it a day, but some people are very sensitive to scents. Try a simmer pot, a natural oil burner, or homemade potpourri instead.
  • Decorating with and then removing subtle seasonal decor. Because the winter holidays vary so much, consider putting up a light amount of seasonal decor while keeping the theme open. When the holidays are over, remove that decor in a timely fashion. It can be a little jarring for buyers to be in a home decorated with a Santa motif in the middle of January.
  • Creating a mood using light. Avoid overhead lighting as that can be harsh on the eyes on darker winter days. Open the blinds and curtains for nice natural light, or if your view isn’t the best (or if it’s too dark), a well-placed lamp or two can do the trick.
  • Keeping high-traffic areas clean. Winter makes its own messes such as wet shoe prints, watermarked doors and windows, and rogue leaves that make it indoors. Give these areas regular wipe downs.

 

5. Keep an Open Mind and Be Flexible

Winter can be unpredictable. The weather could affect your open house and showing times which begs for some flexibility on your part. You may need to reschedule showings, and that’s ok. It’s perfectly common, especially if you live in an area that experiences winter storms.

 

Another area that calls for flexibility is in negotiating. Buyers know the unique struggles of selling in the winter, and they’ll likely utilize that in negotiations. Understand that you have control over your sell, but you may want to concede on a few small things. This could help you sell your home faster in the slow season.

 

Deciding to sell in the winter is up to you. With less seller competition, we think it’s a great time to list, but it truly depends on your circumstances. However, in understanding what seasonal buyers are looking for, we mean it when we say that there’s definitely room for your home on the market – no matter the season!

 

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