How To Sell Your Home During The Winter Market
The colder winter months can pose a challenge when putting your home on the market, but fortunately there are advantages to selling in the winter as well. While wintry weather can influence some buyers to wait until spring to house hunt, conventional wisdom proves that those who do brave the cold are serious about buying. You are likely to face less competition with fewer homes on the market during the colder months, and keep in mind that the basic reasons people look for a new home apply all year around. Relocating for a new job, finding a home to accommodate a growing family, downsizing for empty nesters and retirement are the main reasons people seek a new home at any time of the year.
The key to selling your home in the winter is to make seasonal adjustments and stage it accordingly to play up its appeal while illustrating how the home can be used year round. Add warmth to each room whenever possible and showcase how outdoor living spaces can be used when the weather warms up. Winter is a perfect time to invite guests, so focus on the areas of your home that can be used for entertaining, and highlight spaces family and friends will create memories during the colder months. Most importantly when you prepare your home for sale during the winter, be sure to keep the safety and comfort of potential homebuyers in mind. Here are some useful tips for making the best of the winter real estate market:
Warm Up Your Winter Curb Appeal
It’s always essential to make a good first impression through curb appeal to make your home stand out from the competition and get potential homebuyers through the door to view the home. Take care of minor exterior repairs, keep a clean façade by ensuring the windows are sparkling to make your home look well cared for. Remove slippery snow and ice from the driveway and walkways and be sure to trim any shrubs or branches that can obstruct your entryway when laden with snow. Place a couple of large urns with evergreen plants mixed with colorful dried berries or other seasonal fill by the doorway to make your entry attractive and welcoming. Lastly, remember to ensure all exterior lighting is in working order and keep these lights on for showings as it gets darker earlier.
Utilize Your Mud Room & Keep Your Home Clean
Winter can mean tracking in snowy boots that create a slippery floor and a pile of damp gloves, scarves, hats and jackets in the entryway. If you are lucky enough to have a mud room, keep damp clothes and wet boots where they belong. If not, ask family members to remove their boots outside and place wintry clothing in a closet or bin hidden from view. Have a mop handy to make your entryway remains clean and dry. Remember that any time of the year, winter included, a home that is clean and free of clutter can command a higher price and sell faster.
Create Warmth In Every Room Throughout The House
In winter, it is important to add warmth to your home both literally and figuratively. Crank up the heat in advance of visiting homebuyers so they will be encouraged to spend time and look around, and be sure to keep all the lights on. If you have a fireplace, consider lighting it before each showing to make it the focal point of the room – rearrange furniture around it to create a cozy atmosphere. Add embellishments like throw blankets over seating, area rugs and comfy feather quilts and toss cushions in the bedrooms. For a special touch, place natural garland to your banister or fireplace mantel, or position attractive winter floral arrangements and candles throughout the home.
Showcase Indoor Entertainment Areas
Place the spotlight on the areas of your home that are ideal for winter parties and gatherings, as well as indoor entertainment for the family. Stack up the plates and glassware on the buffet or breakfast bar to create the impression that a festive party is about to begin. Showcase your indoor home theater/entertainment room, as well as your fitness area and basement playroom to illustrate how your home can be used in the colder winter months. Be sure to remove items that are not related to the function of the space to emphasize the indoor entertainment value.
Highlight The Backyard's Potential
If you have a covered outdoor space, keep it furnished to illustrate its summer function and if it includes a fireplace, consider lighting it before buyers come to view your home since it is such an appealing feature. Add warmth with throw blankets and comfortable pillows for the chairs. A beautiful layer of snow can emphasize appealing outdoor views, and highlight interesting features with symmetrically placed planters, garden structures and benches will help homeseekers visualize how the space will be used in warmer weather. If you are able to plan ahead photography of your backyard featuring an open pool and beautifully landscaped gardens should be taken well ahead of the winter months when you're ready to list.
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