Are you preparing to sell your home during winter, but unsure of how to proceed because of the season? Sellers are often concerned because it’s not the time of year traditionally thought of as best for home sales. However, with proper preparation, you can take advantage of the season, and come out with a successful sale.
How to Sell Your Home During the Winter
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Benefits of the season
Selling a property in winter gets a bad rap. While spring and summer are often considered the prime time for house hunters, there are actually many good reasons to sell your home during winter months. One reason is the fact that you are much less apt to experience the housing market’s tire kickers; people who are house shopping in the winter tend to be serious buyers. Competition is typically thinner as well, and to top things off, the overall sales process can move more quickly. All this means that contrary to what some people think, you don’t need to price your home lower than you would during peak times of the year. Familiarize yourself with home prices and the home-selling environment in your area.
Check curb appeal
The first thing potential buyers will notice about your home is what it looks like from the outside. With that in mind, you want to present your home as well-maintained and tidy. If it snows or leaves are falling, make sure you clear patios and walkways. Winter landscaping doesn’t need to be bleak; add some color to your entryway with a fresh coat of paint on your front door. Paint your mailbox and house numbers to match. Add some potted evergreens to your outdoor sitting areas, and put cushions on outdoor furniture that coordinate with your door. Ensure your shrubbery is tidy; cut it away from the house so it can be seen. Remove any branches damaged by storms. Bear in mind fall and winter tend to be relatively dark months. To make the most of both natural light and curb appeal, cut back any trees which overhang your home and prevent sunlight from streaming into your windows. Also, install new numbers on your house and make sure they can be seen from the road. Another task is to clean your roof and gutters. As Upmarket Agent points out, you don’t want rain or snow backing up in your gutters and overflowing when showing your home to potential buyers. If you don’t have the time or tools to manage outdoor projects, find a local pro to do it for you. You may find that the cost of labor is repaid in a faster sale or an even better selling price.
Clean your home
No matter what season it is, one of the most important things you can do to prepare a house for sale is deep clean it. Top to bottom, every nook and cranny should be scrubbed and dusted. Forbes suggests if you struggle with staying on top of things, consider hiring a service to keep your house clean while it’s on the market. You can also provide plastic booties by the front door for buyers to slip over their shoes.
Light and bright
Since daylight is scarce during fall and winter, make sure you make the most of the available light for your showings. Keep windows clean and open and remove the window treatments unless the view is particularly unattractive. Also turn on plenty of lights throughout the house. You might even want to install brighter light bulbs in your fixtures. Another tip is to change lampshades to ones that allow an abundance of light to shine through.
Of course, you want to celebrate the holidays, and you can still decorate your home while it’s for sale. If you normally put out a lot of holiday decor, consider scaling back while your home is for sale. You need to start packing anyway, so pull out a handful of festive favorites, and box up the rest in anticipation of moving. If you put up a tree, make sure it fits nicely into your space and buyers can still maneuver comfortably around it.
You are now prepared to sell your home during winter
Fall and winter offer certain advantages when selling a home. Prepare properly and make the most of the season. With smart strategies, you can look forward to a successful home sale!
Edited by Rhoya Selden, Seattle Staged to Sell’s Web & Digital Marketing Coordinator.