Worried you won’t sell your home in winter? Think again! Although there may be a tendency for sales volume to go up during the spring and fall months, the truth is that houses are bought and sold all year long. If you are in a position where you must sell in the winter because you are relocating for your business, for example, then you already know that there are others in the same position who are looking to buy.
When considering the best price to set for the sale of your home, be aware that because there are generally fewer shoppers, winter may be a bad time to test the market and list high. And, spring may be a better time to price low to increase the likelihood of receiving multiple offers. On the other hand, winter buyers tend to be more serious and motivated. It might be wise to be conservative and set the price at market value. Your Century 21 local experts know the local market well and know how to analyze current local trends to help you determine the best listing price.
Here are a few tips to help you sell during the colder months:
- Winter is the time to focus on creating the coziest environment that you can. Make your home as warm and inviting as possible, by adding extra cushions on your living room couches, and perhaps draping a couple of throws over a chair or two. If you have a gas or electric fireplace, keep it lit during visiting times. It won’t be as safe to keep a wood fire burning if you will be absent during the visit, but you can still highlight your fireplace as a feature in your home by adorning the mantelpiece with candles and greenery.
- If visitors will come during the daylight hours, open all the blinds and curtains to let in as much natural light as possible, and remember to make sure that all your windows are clean! When visitors schedule evening visits, turn on the lights to create a comforting contrast to the darkness outside.
- Winter buyers will be especially concerned about heating and energy efficiency, so features such as heated floors or a heated garage can be highlighted. Just make sure that all of these are repaired and fully functional – a loud furnace, dusty air vents and sooty fireplaces go a long way to discourage potential buyers. Now would be an ideal time to consider low-cost upgrades to increase energy efficiency, such as insulating the attic, replacing the air filters or weatherstripping the windows.
- Focus your attention on any indoor areas that will attract buyers during the winter – exercise rooms and playrooms, for example, should be clean and inviting, tastefully decorated with warm colours.
- It’s always a good idea to depersonalize your space for viewing, so do remove personal photographs, but pictures of your summer garden or swimming pool will give potential buyers a sense of what living in your home might be like during the warmer months.
- If you are trying to sell your home in winter but are considering decorating for Christmas, keep in mind that not everyone follows holiday traditions, and you could turn off potential buyers by emphasizing religious themes. Remember, when selling your home, less is more! Keep your decorations to a minimum, and focus on trimmings such as greenery and a small amount of lights.
- If you’re thinking about lighting, don’t forget about the outdoors! Soft lights on the eaves and bushes lend an inviting warmth to your home, while allowing your visitors to look over the lawn. Make sure your trees and bushes are trimmed and neat, and the path to your home is well-lit and clear of snow and ice. Throw some salt down if necessary to ensure any visitors won’t slip or fall.
- Finally, be proactive by making sure visitors have a mat to wipe their feet on when they come in, and don’t hesitate to put up a sign saying “please remove your boots and shoes.” Keep a basket of slippers by the door for your visitors, and you won’t have to worry about mopping your floor every time someone walks in the door.
Winter may not be the easiest time of year to sell your home, but with these eight tips, you won’t have to worry that it is an impossible task. There are buyers and sellers in every season, and winter especially brings out the most serious and motivated shoppers.