Conventional wisdom says selling a house in the winter is difficult – at least in those parts of the country where it’s cold and snowy. That’s because most people believe freezing weather stops many buyers from looking at homes and makes the houses seem less appealing to those looking.
The truth is, plenty of homes get sold in the winter. And you can improve the chances of selling a home when the temperature drops by following these 5 sensible tips.
1. Don’t undervalue your house.
Because fewer people shop for a house in the winter, it can be tempting to price your home lower than you would if you were selling it during the summer.
However, many real estate professionals note that winter home buyers are often more motivated than warm weather shoppers. Plus, there are frequently fewer homes on sale during the winter for them to buy. Don’t assume you have to price your house lower or accept a lower bid without negotiating just because of the dreary weather.
2. Clear away snow and ice.
It’s important to keep sidewalks, walkways, steps, porches, and driveways clear of snow and ice. If potential buyers have a hard time reaching your front door, some may decide not to go inside at all. Leave a mat at your front door for people to wipe their feet on and consider supplying shoe booties to prevent slippery and slushy floors.
3. Keep your home warm.
Potential buyers are stepping out of the cold and into your home, so you need to make your house feel inviting. Setting the thermostat to a warm temperature helps make your house more appealing, and it might even encourage buyers to stay longer.
Fixing drafty doors and windows before you put the house on the market is crucial in the winter, too. And think about having your heating system inspected and repaired if necessary before buyers start coming. These things will help make people comfortable and assure them the house has been maintained.
4. Brighten up the rooms.
Even houses with lots of windows can look dark and dull on winter days – so, maximize the available natural light by cleaning your windows and opening blinds and drapes.
Winter is an especially good time to ensure wood floors have been polished until they glow, and counters and appliances are so clean they shine. The brighter the house, the more enticing it will be to winter buyers.
5. Create a cozy ambiance.
Part of the pleasure of winter can be to snuggle down at home when the weather outside is frightful. Use this to your advantage by making your home cozy for people during an open house.
And, we suggest trying at least one of these warm home staging tips:
- Have a pot of apple cider or hot cocoa simmering on the stove
- Put out a plate of cookies
- Have a fire in the fireplace – as long as you have someone tending it
- Play soft music throughout the house
- If possible, display a photo of your backyard in bloom during the spring.
People who are selling a house in the winter are often looking to buy a new home at the same time. If this sounds like you, comparing your home loan options is one of the most important first steps!