In many areas of the country, this winter has been epic. Record-breaking snow has stalled the start of the eagerly-anticipated spring real estate market since conventional wisdom dictates waiting for crocuses to bloom before listing your home. However, this winter wonderland can be the ideal time to sell. With inventory levels remaining low, fewer homes on the market means less competition and better visibility from prospective buyers. Remember, buyers looking in frigid temperatures are not casual window shoppers!
Here are 10 tips to sell your home this winter:
Clear a path – Shovel snow and spread sand and salt to provide easy and safe access into the home. Make sure visitors can safely park and walk to the front door. Eliminate blind spots for access in and out of the driveway.
Keep the heat up! – Nothing feels better than coming in from frost-biting cold into a warm and cozy house. Light the fireplace and candles (as long as they aren’t overly scented) for inviting ambiance. Buyers just might stay longer!
Protect the floors – Place a fresh door mat outside and inside the front entry. Provide an area (with seating for those unable to balance like a stork) to remove snow and salt encrusted boots or slip surgical booties over shoes. A polite printed sign asking all visitors to comply will ensure cooperation.
Lighten up – Snow acts as a natural reflector to enhance natural light in the house. Even still, turn on all the lights in the house. Open blinds, shutters and all window treatments. Let the house be flooded with light – day and night!
Create “lifestyle” vignettes – Lifestyle staging helps buyers envision living in the home. Create cozy fireside reading areas with a beautiful throw and bestseller or set a festive dining room table.
Organize, organize, organize! – Winter is the time we are all overrun with coats, boots and snow gear. Streamline all closets to make sure there’s a place for everything and everything’s in its place. Buyers love a meticulous and uncluttered home!
Shovel patios – Buyers are unable to appreciate outdoor entertaining spaces under 5’ of snow. Literally help them see where they will enjoy their 4th of July BBQ.
Provide in-season photos – Don’t be afraid to showcase the property in-season by displaying photos on your iPad, digital frame and in your listing detail.
Highlight good construction – If your house has not suffered ice dam damage like many, that’s a strong selling point! Be proactive and let buyers know.
Be a reasonable seller. Ready, willing and able buyers are looking now. If buyers need to buy, you are better off successfully negotiating an offer today before the spring market is flooded with new inventory and you are yesterday’s news.