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Winter Home-Selling Woes? Treat Buyers to These 10 Tips!

Winter Home-Selling Woes? Treat Buyers to These 10 Tips!

You’ve probably been told that trying to sell a home in winter is not as easy as listing your home in spring or summer, because there are typically fewer people searching for a new home during the colder, winter months. However, many experts agree that those buyers who are looking for a new home in winter are often more serious buyers that are ready to make a purchase.

So, what can you do to entice prospective buyers into realizing that your home may be perfect for them, even during the cold, snowy winter months?

Here are 10 things to do before prospective buyers come to see your home in winter:

1. Be Reasonable with Pricing. Of course, this tip applies for any season, but is especially true in winter. If your home is listed for a price that buyers think is too high, they are very unlikely to take the time to tour through it, particularly if the weather is cold, snowy or icy. The first way to get prospective buyers through the door is with a fair price.

2. Use Showy, Not Snowy Photos. How does that saying go, “The grass is always greener…” In the middle of winter, many people are tired of seeing snow piles all around. Even winter enthusiasts may be ready to see greener pastures during late winter. You should absolutely show current, seasonal photos of your home, but if you are able to snap a few outdoor pictures when the snow has melted, do it. Your home can appear like a safe haven from the cold!

3. Make Your Curb Appeal Visible. Make sure the first thing a prospective buyer fixates on when they approach your home is how beautiful it is! That means remove any dead branches or icicles and shovel a clear path to your front door. Yes, while your home is on the market, you may need to shovel the driveway and sidewalks a little more than you typically would. Sprinkling a little sand on the path can’t hurt during icy months, too.

4. Keep Winter Outside. Once a prospective buyer escapes the winter weather by stepping inside your home, don’t give them any reason to remember the cold. Check your windows and doors to make sure no cold air is leaking through and fix any leaks that you find. To a potential buyer, a cold draft is a chilling reminder of work they do not want to do to their new home.  

5. Set the Mood Inside. Although the weather outside may be cold and snowy, you can keep your home warm and inviting by clearing the clutter and staging it with seasonal items like comfortable throws and soothing music. You may not be happy that the holiday season is over, but you will need to make sure that all of your festive décor has been removed once the new year hits.

6. Let the Light In. Winter weather can be dark and dreary; so, as a seller, it is your job to make sure your home is as bright and cheery as possible. You can accomplish this by replacing any dim bulbs and cleaning your windows. When you have a showing, it may be a good idea to turn on all of the lights to give your home maximum brightness.

7. Freshen Your Home with Flowers. While winter’s colors may not be as bright as spring or summer, not everything about the season is drab. Dress your home up with some seasonal flowers or greens to give it the freshest scents of the winter season.

8. Turn Up the Heat. When you know you have a showing, it is OK to pump the heat a little. You certainly don’t want prospective buyers to think your home is drafty. Giving your basement a little extra heat is an excellent touch, too. That way, your home appears as a warm escape from the season’s cold.  

9. Let Buyers Know They’ll Be Taken Care Of. Do you belong to a home owner’s association that regularly maintains your street during winter? Does your community or township do an especially good job of keeping nearby roads plowed and treated when it is snowy or icy? Leave that information available for prospective buyers to read, so they know just how easy your home is to maintain throughout the winter and all year long!

10. Sweeten the Deal. While it is not a “must-do” tip, it can’t hurt to set out a plate of fresh (or freshly-bought) cookies for prospective buyers to sample while they browse through your home. If you’re feeling especially eager, you can warm up hot chocolate or hot cider in a crock pot for potential buyers to enjoy. That may really warm them up to your home on a cold, winter’s night!

Winter may not be the easiest season to sell a home, but there are things you can do to attract serious prospective buyers to your home in a hurry.