Winter is typically the slowest time of the year for home sales. Many sellers take their homes off the market and then re-list them in the spring. But people do have to move all year round. While there are typically fewer buyers in the market in winter, there are also fewer sellers, giving your home a chance for greater visibility. Below, see four things to remember when attempting to have your house stand out from the rest for a winter sale.
- Remember the basics. Take care of needed repairs throughout all seasons. Clean your home thoroughly, get rid of clutter and keep driveways, walks, steps and entrances clear and free of ice. Keep the deck shoveled, and roof and eaves free of icicles. Place a door mat inside the door and ask potential buyers to use it, even take off their boots so they will not track in snow and water.
- Make your home warm and cozy. For an open house, remove and rearrange furniture to make rooms look larger. Apply a fresh coat of paint to make them look brighter. Turn up the heat and light a fire in the fireplace if you have one. Keep holiday decorations to a minimum and take them down as soon as holidays end. Open up curtains and drapes to let in as much natural light as possible. Days are the shortest and darkest in winter. Make sure your home is well lit. Turn on lights even during daylight hours. Put out some hot apple cider for a buyer to sip.
- Display home photos. Spread out some pictures showing your home in all seasons: flowering trees out front in the spring, gardens and deck and umbrella in the summer, foliage around the home in the fall.
- Price your home carefully. As mentioned, there are usually fewer homes on the market in the winter and you will have less competition. Pricing your home right is critical in any season. Work with your realtor to price your home for the market and also your own time frame.
Above all, stay positive. Selling a home in winter can be challenging, but not impossible.