Winter is typically seen as a slow season for home sales. Fewer homeowners list their properties, and fewer buyers are on the hunt for a new home. This is because not many people are up to the task of moving once the snow, ice and colder temperatures arrive.
If you're not afraid of Jack Frost, you may have your work cut out if you're planning to sell. With lower demand for housing, it can be more difficult to get a house off the market. Additionally, if you can attract potential buyers, you may not have as much leverage in the price negotiations.
Considering these challenges, you must adapt your selling strategy to the season. Here are some tips for successfully closing a home sale in winter:
Don't ignore curb appeal
Just because your lawn is covered under a foot of snow doesn't mean you don't have to worry about sprucing up your home's exterior. Not only do snow- and ice-covered driveways and walkways look less inviting, but they are also a safety hazard for your potential buyers and listing agent.
Make sure you shovel and salt your driveway and walkways often. It may not be fun to engage in manual labor at all hours of the day, but you never know when your agent is going to call and say someone is coming to see the property in a short time.
Keep the heat going
Once potential buyers safely make their way into your house, you want to ensure they're ready to stay. This means creating a warm environment. The first step is to activate your heat. Don't forget to prepare your furnace for more extensive use before you turn it on. This includes checking and replacing the filter. Additionally, you might consider scheduling a property inspection to catch any hidden furnace issues.
If you have a fireplace, light it before guests arrive to create more of a warm feeling. You can also arrange your furniture around the fireplace for a cozy appearance. Add in a few fleece throw blankets to complete the scene.
Don't skimp on the lighting
Winter means shorter days and more potential buyers will view your home in the evening. As such, you want to ensure the property gets a lot of light at all hours of the day.
When the sun is still out, open your windows and blinds. Also, don't forget to clean your windows so light can enter your home without any trouble.
For evening showings, check your light bulbs. Replace ones that are burned out and make sure you have the right wattage for the fixture. Check your exterior lighting, as well. Dark homes don't appear as inviting as well-lit ones. Plus, despite all your shoveling and salting efforts, there may still be ice on the ground, and you want guests to see any slippery patches.
Embrace the season when staging
Although winter comes with terrible weather in some parts of the country, it also means seasonal aromas and decorations. Make potential buyers feel at home by tailoring your house decorations to the holiday season. Hang a Christmas wreath on your front door and adorn your house with other holiday items.
In addition to appealing to guests' eyes, you can cater to their noses. To give your home a welcoming smell, consider lighting holiday-scented candles. If you're fond of baking, you can throw a batch of gingerbread cookies in the oven. This will give your house a nice aroma and leave a tasty snack to further entice visitors to purchase the property.