Sometimes a job transfer, lease or personal circumstances require plunging into making a sale in the dead of winter. With the holidays, the cold weather and the long days of winter, this can be a challenging time to sell your home. But, cheer up… you can use house staging, the reduced competition and some seasonal ideas to your advantage. The positive side of selling of your home in the winter means that fewer homes are on the market and yours will get more attention from buyers. Here are some tips to an inviting and warm home to make your house really stand out in a thinned out field of competitors.
- Remember the Basics – Taking care of needed maintenance and repairs is necessary in any season. Tidying up the yard and touching up the exterior appearance helps to improve the curb appeal. Now is also the time to make your home clutter-free, by removing knickknacks and photographs. Carpets should be recently cleaned and in good repair. And MOST importantly, clear all exterior pathways of snow & ice. Sellers do not need to take on the added liability of someone falling when viewing their house.
- Emphasize Light – Winter days can be dim – fight the gloom. For your home to look its best during a winter viewing, turn on every light possible (even daytime showings) – this is no time to worry about the electric bill. Consider removing some window treatments, washing the windows, opening all the blinds to maximize the light. Rearranging furniture and applying a fresh coat of paint to any room in need also plays a key role in making your house appear bigger, brighter, warmer and more appealing.
- Think Warm & Cozy – To convey a cozy feel in the winter, it would be best to turn the thermostat up. Give each room a warm touch. Decorate with warm colors such as deep orange or crimson. A folded throw draped over the back of an armchair, a quilt at the foot of the bed. If you have a gas fireplace, light a fire to welcome visitors. Buyers want to envision living in your home. Lack of appeal may lower the offer.
- Showcase Entertaining Possibilities – Winter is the time for holiday parties and gatherings, what better way to show the entertaining possibilities than to have an enticing display. Set out stacks of plates, or set a beautiful table. Have fresh flowers on a dining room buffet or display freshly baked holiday cookies on cake stands in the kitchen. Make the vision as inviting as possible. Display pictures of how your house looks in the warmer months with patio furniture, outdoor entertaining and landscaping photographs.
- Highlight Winterized Features – After your home passes the charm test, emphasize features that make your property a smart winter buy. With features like an attached garage, new water heater or other HVAC components, and any energy efficient upgrades, your home can be more attractive to winter buyers. Winter buyers want to feel confident that their new home will be ready for the winter months ahead.
- Tasteful Holiday Decorations – As you set out to win over winter homebuyers, the holidays give you an extra opportunity to make your home stand out. Keep decorations conservative, you want your house to be noticed not the decorations. Play holiday music in the background. When Hanukkah and Christmas are over you can keep the spirit alive by hanging a colorful wreath on your door, a seasonal welcome mat to retain a festive look for January and February when more house-shoppers start to turn up.