Whether work is prompting your relocation or warmer weather is calling, selling your home in winter can be daunting. Often thought of as a down season, many homeowners have no control over the timing of their sale, and they certainly can’t help the weather. To bolster your winter home sale odds, and lift the grey snow cloud hovering over your property, check out these five winter selling tips!
Push past the holidays
If possible, hold off listing your home until after the holidays when serious buyers have the time to tour your property. Many people are consumed with travel, get-togethers, and other holiday obligations, making it difficult to get any foot traffic. If you wait until the holidays are over, you’ll not only be able to fully enjoy the holidays yourself, but you’ll also avoid having your home sitting for weeks without a showing.
Of all the seasonal home selling tips out there, winterization is a priority. Take the time to make sure you’ve prepared your home for winter weather before listing your home. This means getting your landscaping up to speed, with your lawn, gutters, and flower beds cleared of fall leaves and errant twigs or branches. Take care of any winterizing, especially with water pipes, ensuring that any window and door leaks are sealed against cold weather drafts.
This is also the time to make any necessary home repairs you’ve been putting off. This is not, however, the time to remodel. Take a survey of your home and address any structural or mechanical issues if they’re in need of repair or not working. You don’t want your sale to be held up because of something you could have easily addressed before listing.
For more tips on preparing your home for sale, check out the video below:
Stage your home
While the last thing you may feel like doing is spending money to sell your home, you’ll find that hiring a company to stage your home is worth its weight in gold. Not only is a staged home more likely to sell faster, the odds of getting your desired asking price are greater. Plus, staging is a great motivator for getting a jump on packing.
The objective of home staging is to present a home in its best light. By packing clearing out unnecessary furniture pieces and personal items, your home appears larger and well maintained to the discriminate buyer. And because staging removes personalization, prospective buyers are easily able to envision themselves in your home.
Take professional photos
Now that your home is staged, it’s time to show it off. The odds are likely that your agent already works with a professional photographer to capture the homes they list, but if not, you want to make sure that any photos are being taken by a professional (and not your agent). And if your agent isn’t willing to spring for a photographer, consider investing in one yourself.
With the number of people shopping for homes on the internet increasing year over year, your home’s online listing must have great photos. Home photography can be tricky in the winter when the sun often disappears for days on end. However, insist on waiting for clear weather to photograph your home to take advantage of natural lighting.
Have a plan for showings
With your home officially listed, you need to come up with a plan for showings, especially if you have children and pets. Because your home needs to be show-ready at all times while it’s listed, consider enlisting the help of a cleaning service, if you don’t already. In-between professional cleanings, work with your kids to keep clutter to an absolute minimum. And because a call for a tour can come at any time, consider asking a family member or neighbor to take care of your pets while your home is being shown.
As it’s winter, and the weather is often dicey, make sure to keep an area for agents and prospective buyers to hang their coats and remove their shoes or boots. Consider adding a boot tray to your foyer or having booties ready to slide over shoes to help keep your floors looking spotless.
If you’re able to list your home after the holidays and make any necessary repairs, you’ll be in good shape to stage your home for showings. Just make sure to wow prospective buyers with stellar photographs, capturing the beauty and unique details of your home. And lastly, have a contingency plan for showings so that your home is show-ready at all times, and you’ll have no problem selling your house this winter!