When the weather is cold and the days are short, many homeowners give up on the thought that they will ever sell their home before spring. But just because the temperatures are colder, it doesn’t mean you have to feel the chill from a lack of bids. If you missed out on the height of buying season, don’t worry, simply pivot your efforts to sell your home by way of seasoned counsel. Keep reading for expert tips to show you how.
1. Make Every Showing Count
Inclement weather equates to roughly one-half to one-third fewer people showing up for open houses. You simply can’t expect the same level of foot traffic in December as you might have in June. Therefore, every showing counts. Go the extra mile to provide comforting snacks, including warm, fresh-from-the oven bread, and also offer water, coffee and hot apple cider. If the home has a fireplace, keep a fire going strong. First impressions during this time are particularly important since those homebuyers who do show up are serious and motivated to buy.
2. Use Spring Pictures in the Listing
Flowers and green grass on sunny days are arguably prettier than grey days, clumps of dirty uneven snow and brown grass. It’s extremely beneficial to have property photos done before the weather turns and the trees are bare; the exterior of a home appears lusher in the warmer season. If you have them, go ahead and use pictures from the spring or summer in your listings -- homebuyers will be intrigued by the way the landscape looks in full bloom.
3. Complete Necessary Renovations
Drafty windows, old furnaces, and chipped paint are some reasons that might cause a buyer to move on. Off-season home renovations can make all the difference, so be proactive with maintenance. Check that the boiler and heating systems are working properly, repair windows, and take care of other cosmetic renovations so your home looks more impressive to buyers.
4. Curb Appeal Matters
Although potential buyers know it isn’t spring, they will expect the outside of the house to look impeccable. Be sure to rake leaves, shovel sidewalks, and be attentive to how the house looks from the street. Additionally, turn on all the lights so the house appears welcoming from the outside. These simple tasks can significantly impact your home's curb appeal.
5. Don’t Overdo the Seasonal Décor
Winter is prime for holiday decorations. And while getting into the spirit is fun, overdoing the decor could dissuade potential buyers. Distracting decorations are a big mistake that can negatively divert attention away from the house. You should, however, highlight the home’s wintertime appeal. From cozy fireplaces and stylish neutral trimmings, to finished and staged basements which showcase free space for children to play when outside activity is limited, get creative to make the most of the season.
6. Be Flexible
The winter is a busy time for everyone. Holidays, relatives visiting from out of town, vacations, and more are all reasons why it’s more important than ever to be as flexible as possible. Do your best to be mindful of each prospective buyer’s time and avoid scheduling issues by freeing your own calendar. Make exceptions when necessary to become more available to potential buyers.
Are you selling your home this winter? What are you doing differently than if you were selling in the spring or summer? Tell us in the Facebook comments!