How To Sell Your Home In The Winter
Although it is true that the Spring and Summer months are the most popular times to buy or sell a home, that does not mean that a home cannot be sold at any other time of the year. Lives change all the time, whether it is a new marriage, new baby, new job, or a host of other reasons, people have a reason to buy a home. Listed below are the top tips for how to sell your home in the winter and some winter curb appeal advice to help get your property ready.
Brighten the Home in Every Way Possible
Make sure that every window is allowing in as much light as possible. This means raising the blinds, pulling back drapes, and cleaning all the windows.
Check for burned-out bulbs and replace them before you have potential buyers looking at the home.
When the buyers arrive, turn on each light in the home, even inside the closets. More light makes the home bright and cheery.
Keep the Inside Warm and Cozy
When buyers arrive at the home, there could be snow outside or a dreary, gray day full of rain. Make their first step in the home inviting and comfortable by making sure that the place is warm.
Keep the temperature around 65 to 68 degrees, so that they notice the difference from the outside to the inside immediately.
If the home has a fireplace, start a small fire. Be sure to check that the damper is fully open before lighting the flame.
Add Some Soothing Music
To make the experience more pleasant to prospective buyers, use a smartphone or computer to play smooth music while touring the home. Anything simple like soft jazz or even classical tunes will work. Just keep the volume down so people can carry on a conversation.
Also, turn off the ringers on your phones and keep the TV off. The background music will set a nice tone for the home tour and keep people relaxed.
Keep the Walkways Clear
Make sure the walkways from either the curb or driveway are clear of leaves, snow, or anything else that could get in the way. You don’t want an interested buyer to have a fall before getting inside the home.
At the door, have a nice rubber mat that people can use to knock off the snow and dirt from their shoes. Also, place a clean container near the door to store an umbrella and prevent a puddle on the floor.
Clean the Home from Top to Bottom
This sounds like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised at the number of people that do not take the time to clean up the home before a real estate agent shows it on the market.
Here are the top cleaning tips:
- Start with the windows. Make all the windows sparkling clean.
- Remove the dust from any lights as well as blades on the ceiling fans and the heating/air conditioner vents.
- Remove any old food from the refrigerator to remove odors.
- Take the garbage out of the trash bins inside the home.
- Remove any spider webs.
- Clean the grout joints on tile surfaces. Add fresh caulk to showers, sinks, and all tubs.
- Dust and polish any hardwood floors. If you have carpet, vacuum each day.
- Really clean the mirrors and faucets in bathrooms.
Above all else, get rid of clutter from cabinets, closets, and rooms in general. If a buyer sees a cabinet that is busting open with dishes and a closet that could not hold one more shirt or pair of shoes, they may get the impression that the home is too small and will not accommodate their belongings.
Bring Attention to Areas Heavily Used in Cold Weather
If your home has a basement, or a playroom, or a fireplace, or a heater in the garage, then you need to bring attention to these items.
When the wind is howling outside and there is little chance of getting outside to do anything, people will want to see how they can pass the time inside your home with its features.
Let your real estate agent show off the best attributes of the property and entice people to buy your home.
Take Care of Home Winter Maintenance
When people walk in from the cold exterior to inspect your home, they will most likely check various features to see if the home will withstand the winter months.
Now is the time to replace the filters in the HVAC system.
It is also a good idea to test the weather stripping around the windows and doors.
In the case of a fireplace, have the chimney cleaned out and checked for any possible problems.
Be Careful with Aromas
Some people love the smell of cinnamon in a home. Others are allergic to the odor.
Some people love a home that smells like it has been freshly cleaned. Others prefer the scent of candles.
It is better to stick with basic cleaning materials and let the home smell fresh and clean rather than risk turning off a buyer because their idea of a good scent is different than yours.
Consider Appetizers and Warm Liquids
On the flip side of the previous point, consider having some appetizers and warm liquids available in the kitchen. Coffee, warm tea, apple cider, and hot cocoa are usually quite popular in the cold months. If you serve food, make sure they are small, bite-size items with no utensils to avoid a mess and too much clean-up afterward.
Having these items will create a nice smell in the kitchen and make the visit more memorable for the potential buyers.
Take Advantage of Technology
Modern technology can remove some work from your to-do list.
Use timers on lamps and lights so that the home is lit up at a specific time.
Motion sensor lights can be used outside to turn on when people arrive and provide plenty of illumination.
Many temperature controls on the market today can be programmed to lower or raise the temp in the home based on the time of day.
Summing Up How To Sell Your Home In The Winter
Be sure to ask for feedback from your real estate agent as well. Find out if potential buyers did not like the appetizers you chose or the music selection. Getting this information right can help you make changes to attract the right buyer when selling your home in the winter.
Additional Winter Home Selling Resources:
Bill Gassett goes into great detail about what not to do when selling your home in the winter. Whether you're trying to save energy by keeping your home cooler, trying to hide problems or you fail to spruce up your home, avoiding these mistakes when selling in the winter should be a top priority.