Selling a home is an incredibly stressful life event. Selling a home in the middle of winter is not only stressful but full of anxiety and tension. When your home is up for sale during the winter months the curb appeal is lost. There is no green lush lawn, perfectly trimmed trees or the perfect sunny day lighting that enhances all homes. What you have in the winter is brown grass, bad weather and short dark days. How does one sell their home in the winter without taking a huge cut on your asking price?
The first thing you must know is that if people can’t get to your home to look at it the house will never sell. This leads us to the first piece of advice all real estate agents will give you. Keep the roads, sidewalks and driveway to your home free of ice and snow. In the spring and summer you are busy mowing the lawn and trimming trees to maintain your home. In the winter, the homes maintenance will evolve around salting, plowing and shoveling.
In order to sell your home in the winter you need to make sure that when a buyer is in your home that it makes them feel warm, cozy and inviting. Make them want to stay and check out your house. You can do this by turning the thermostat up when showing the house. Buyers that come in your home and are warm and comfy will stay for longer than those that come in and don’t get that feeling. Staying in your home longer allows them to start seeing themselves and their families in it. If the home has a gas fireplace, turn it on. If you have a wood burning fireplace set the fireplace up so that it is all ready for a fire. The look is often enough for potential buyers and it is less risky than leaving a fire burning while you aren’t home to attend to it.
In the winter the one thing that is extremely limited is natural daylight. Homes always show better with the natural light. Try doing showings in the early afternoon when the natural light is at its fullest. If your showings will take place in the evening after all the natural light is gone be sure to turn on all the lighting you can. Make sure the light bulbs in the home are all installed and that the highest wattage available is installed. If the house is being shown at night, don’t forget the exterior lighting!
We often forget about our cleaning our windows in the winter because the curtains are pulled. Don’t forget the importance of clean windows in the winter when grime really adds up. When the buyers pull back the curtains in your home you want them to see a home that is well maintained even in the winter. Clean windows also add to the curb appeal of a home especially when screens are stored for the winter.
Create comfort throughout your home. You can do this by adding throws on the back of sofas, thick comfy comforters on all of the bedding and slippers by the door. Your home should scream cozy, comfy when a buyer enters your home.
Everyone loves a home that smells wonderful. Upon first impression your home should smell clean like a well maintained home and cozy like a chocolate chip cookie. Don’t overdo the scents as that will make buyers suspicious of what you are trying to cover up.
When welcoming buyers into your home remember it is still your home and your investment to protect. Winter leaves footwear in a condition not suitable for walking through a home with freshly cleaned carpets. It is okay for you to ask them to remove their shoes or to slip in paper booties over their shoes. As a seller this leaves your investment protected and as a buyer it shows your pride of ownership and diligence in keeping your home pristine.