The prime home selling seasons are spring and summer for many reasons. Spring brings a fresh start, the weather is warmer, and the opportunity to move while kids are out of school are just a few examples of why you see less houses for sale during the Winter season.
While beautiful weather makes it much easier to attract a buyer, there’s a variety of reasons that houses go on the market during any season and sometimes you’ll just have to list your house for sale during the winter. Job changes, family changes, and simple wanderlust can be motivations to sell your home during the winter (or at any time of the year).
Listing your home during the colder, winter months will take a bit of planning and staging to prepare your house to present well. While many preparation tips for selling a house are applicable in any season, the winter home selling season presents a few challenges, and opportunities, for the determined home sellers.
So, how should you prepare if you have to sell your house during winter?
8 Tips to Sell Your Home During Winter:
1. Capitalize on Less Competition
Just as you may be in a forced situation where you need to sell your home now, there are potential buyers out there in the same predicament, requiring them to buy a house when the overall inventory is lower. You may have less competition with other sellers in the winter months and this could definitely work to your advantage. You may have fewer showings, but they are likely to be more motivated buyers.
2. Avoid holiday decorations
If you’re showing your house during the holiday season, it’s probably a good idea to refrain from displaying your usual collections of holiday decorations. Uncluttered houses show the best. Save your blowout holiday decorations for next year, when you’ll want to make everything warm and cozy for your first holiday season in your new home.
3. Use exterior photos from summertime
Even though it’s winter, you want your house to look as fresh as spring. Use photos taken during the spring and summer months in all your real estate advertising. Snow and ice and bare trees are never going to appeal to a potential buyer as much as a bright garden in the full bloom of spring. Let a buyer see the potential in your home.
During the summer, when everything is green, snap a few photos of your home’s exterior just in case you’ll need to list it during the Fall or Winter seasons.
4. Keep Up with the upkeep
Keep up with the upkeep even in the bleakest of weather. Walkways and driveways should be free of snow. Leaves should be raked and the grass should still be well groomed. Curb appeal is still crucial, even in the dead of winter.
5. Add additional lighting
Winter is notorious for being overcast and gray. Don’t skimp on your lighting, both indoors and out. Add additional lighting fixtures, if necessary, to make your house as bright and open as possible.
6. Keep the inside Temperature Comfortable
Keep the temperature in your house at a comfortable level at all times. You may lower the thermostat in an energy saving effort in your daily life, but potential buyers will only feel the chill and interpret it as a poor reflection on the overall comfort of the house.
7. Bring the outdoors inside
The weather outside may be uninviting but you should still make it easy for potential buyers to go outside on the deck, into the backyard or anywhere else outdoors that is part of the property.
Display photos in the house that show the outdoor areas in their best light so buyers can get a feel for just how wonderful your home can be if they decide to make it their home.
8. Keep your house looking fresh during the cold seasons
Keeping your house looking fresh and clean is a greater challenge in the winter. Rise to the challenge by washing the windows more frequently, cleaning smudges and smears from all surfaces and making sure you aren’t dragging snow and mud in from the outside.