Winter isn’t the optimal time to sell a home but the fact is that sometimes you don’t have a choice when you are going to sell or buy a new house. There are definitely some challenges to selling your home in winter but don’t be discouraged by them. Address a few small issues and not only will you make a great impression on buyers but you’ll get your home sold more quickly too. Here are six tips to maximize the potential of a winter sale.
1. Make it easy to get to your home. Buyers have been known to turn away from viewing a home if it means they have to trudge through knee-deep snow just to get to the front door. You may enter your home through the garage but remember that visitors will come to your front door. Ensure that walkways are cleared of snow, slush and ice.
2. Keep it cool. It may seem like a nice idea to walk into a toasty warm home when it’s bitter cold outside but remember that the buyers will be bundled for the outdoors and not likely to remove all of their outerwear just to view your home. If your home is very warm, they will be uncomfortably hot in a matter of a couple minutes. Keep your home temperature at the lower end just to where you may need a snuggly sweater or blanket to lounge on the couch.
3. Place a mat both outside and inside your front door. If you’ve cleared your walkway, you shouldn’t have too much of a problem with wet or dirty shoes but double mats will help to ensure their shoes are clean. You could ask that buyers remove their shoes if you are especially concerned for light coloured carpet but realize that this may be seen as inconvenient.
4. Make it light and bright. Turn on the lights in every room of the house or set them on timers to go on just before dusk. It may seems like a waste of energy if you aren’t home but it not only makes your home more inviting, it prevents buyers from stumbling around looking for a light switch in an unfamiliar setting. Also, make sure your walkway to the front door is well lit as well as any steps and porch area. You don’t want a buyer stumbling and falling on your property.
5. Groom your pets often. If you have a pet, it’s a good idea to try to have them out of the house during a showing but if that’s not possible make sure your pet is well behaved and clean. No one want to have a big, wet dog jumping on them as they enter the house and, for that matter, the smell of wet dog can be a big turn off. Ensure that your pets are clean looking and dry before every showing.
6. Show off your organization options. This time of year homes are often overflowing with winter clothing, gear and equipment. Big, fluffy coats, gloves, boots, and even sports equipment like skis; it all needs a place to be stored and it will be something buyers think about. Don’t just throw all your stuff into a packed closet. Get an organization solution if you don’t already have one and create a place for outwear to be stored near the main point of entry whether that’s through a mudroom off the garage or the front entry. Also, organize any winter sports equipment in your garage on appropriate racks or hangers. Creating a storage solution for these things allows the buyers to see how all of their things will fit in the home.