Selling your home is one of the most stressful stages of homeownership. Pair that with gloomy days and below freezing weather and the feat seems nearly impossible. For homeowners who need to sell their homes during the winter, who can’t rely on the healthy spring selling market and increased Vitamin D boosting everyone’s moods, they may have to get a little creative. Showhomes Chicago Franchisee Michael Callahan and Showhomes Charleston Franchisee Lorelie Brown admit that winter selling may be a little tougher, but definitely not impossible. By following five simple tips homeowners will be head of the game with their home sale.
Start with the driveway
Slipping and sliding your way to the front door of a house will definitely not leave a good first impression. For those lucky to be living in areas of the country where temperatures hover the below 30-degree Fahrenheit mark, ice and snow are inevitable. This should be the first place the home seller starts when prepping their home for a winter sale.
“The last thing you want is for the realtor and buyer to show up with a bunch of snow and ice between them and the front door,” said Callahan. “This could result in them moving on to the next house. They should be able to pull into your driveway and not have to worry about slipping on their way up.”
Callahan also suggests putting footies at the front door, as with the salt and sand, prospective buyers are likely to leave a trail from dirty shoes. Save yourself time between showings and avoid the need to vacuum every time a new buyer comes through the door.
Then put focus on the heart of the home
The wintertime brings fewer buyers to the market. With that said, it’s important to make the big focus rooms and spaces really count.
“Prospects will spend most of their time in the family room, kitchen and master bedroom,” said Brown. “Be sure that these rooms receive your utmost care in ensuring a clean, clutter-free experience.”
Brown recommends addressing any problems with these rooms first, and once fixed, put extra attention towards these areas to make sure they are staged to perfection.
Bring on the color
What better time than when everything, from the sky to the snow on the sidewalk, is gray to introduce color into the home. Find colorful landscaping that is able to endure some chilly weather for the outside of the home. It will give it the curb appeal it needs to wow a prospective buyer. Then, on the inside of the home, do the same with accents.
“Use pops of color like yellow, blue, and green in pillows, bedding, and art so that the buyers can engage with your spaces,” said Brown. “Color effects emotion, and these colors can create a feeling of peace, calm and happiness.”
Make sure the temperature is right
A benefit to selling in the winter season is that prospective buyers are focused on finding a home where they can cozy up and relax. Temperature is a big factor in helping a buyer get to this point and feel comfortable in the space.
“The heat should be a comfortable temperature,” said Callahan. “Although, comfortable or one might be different for another so settle somewhere between 65 to 67-degrees. This is sufficient to immediately warm up your guest when the outdoor temperatures are freezing.”
To build on the cozy ambience, make sure all of the lights are turned all the way up.
“In the winter with long dark days and earlier sunsets, lighting becomes crucial,” said Callahan.
Separate yourself from the competition
When the buyer market is a bit sparse because it’s not the peak of selling season, standing out amongst the competition is more important than ever. There are less people coming through the home, so it’s important to leave a lasting impression.
“Educate yourself on the other listings in your area which may be competing with yours,” said Brown. “Highlight the differentiators of your home. For example, if your home has a large master suite, ensure that your master feels larger and is well-decorated.”
Selling your home in the winter does not have to be all gloom and doom. In fact, there are definitely advantages to being on the market at a time when there is less competition. Just because of the chill in the air, homeowners should not second guess putting their homes on the market. With some proper attention to detail and efficient staging, the home will be sold in no time.