There’s no need to keep your home off the market during the winter months, and in fact with the right preparation, selling your home in winter can have its benefits. If time is an issue and you want to take advantage of the diminished competition that winter home sales offer, we have some tips for you to make it work without waiting for spring:
1. On the outside, keep sidewalks, driveway and footpaths snow-free, make sure icicles aren’t dangling from eaves, and make the curb appeal as inviting as possible. Take a good, long look at your home on the outside and see what needs addressing. Clean windows, keep a mud-free porch, weed out noticeable dead tree and bush branches. Take advantage of your hard work and have professional photos taken while it ‘s in pristine condition.
2. On the inside, remove all clutter and excess furniture, and put it in storage if you have to. Give it a thorough cleaning, and then keep it neat and uncluttered for showing. Do what it takes to let as much natural light in as possible, since home interiors can seem darker and even gloomy in winter. Light a scented candle that provides a winter-warm and comfortable essence that resonates with potential buyers.
3. Don’t over-price your home. Check out comparable listings in the neighborhood, and ask your realtor for advice on market value. If you start out too high assuming you can negotiate with potential buyers or lower the price later, you risk losing a sale in the first critical weeks your home is on the market, when it gets the most attention from buyers. Interest drops off sharply after the first few weeks; if someone falls in love with your house and it’s priced at market value, your chances of selling are much greater.
4. Be aware of community events, especially sporting events so that you aren’t scheduling open houses when fewer people are likely to come. Check your local paper for scheduled events like football games and winter festivals and schedule your showings to attract people either before or after an event.
5. Don’t forget the backyard. If your summer patio furniture is under a blanket of snow, or the kids’ yard toys are where they landed last September, clean them up and put them out of sight. Rake leaves, shovel walkways and make your backyard as inviting as the front yard. Potential homebuyers don’t want to see anything less than move-in ready.
Selling a house in wintertime means a few more challenges than in warm weather, but once you complete the initial cleanup, de-clutter and yard preparation, it’s only a matter of maintaining your home’s inviting appearance until it sells. Plus, you will be taking the best advantage of the season’s less-competitive market.
For more advice on selling your home, visit www.carbuttirealestate.com.