6 Winter Selling Tips You Can't Miss
6 Winter Selling Tips You Can't Miss
Winter is notoriously a difficult time for one to move. Potential buyers are typically caught up in holiday activities through December. When the mercury drops even further in January and February, they’re generally not too excited about shopping around when it’s cold.
If you’re faced with trying to create a hot market for your home in the cold winter months, don’t worry. With a little strategic preparation and the following seasonal home selling tips, you’ll have that home sold in no time.
Recognize the trade-off: Less traffic, more commitment
It’s true that winter weather can persuade lukewarm buyers to stay home and wait for spring. However, the traffic you’re losing is only mildly interested in making any purchase at all, let alone looking at your home. And the prospective buyers you do get are highly motivated.
To take advantage of that level of commitment, treat every single showing as if it’s the one. Be ready to show at a moment’s notice, since weather can be fickle and decisions to view a house on the market might be made quickly.
Bring on the coziness
Think of ways you can add some warmth and cheer to your home before each showing.
For example, home scent plugins in evocative fragrances are a great way to keep your home smelling great and kindle those nostalgic winter-wonderland associations. Open up curtains and clean the windows to maximize natural light, and add lamps to dark corners.
Finally, turn up the heat a bit. Give them a toasty environment when they first walk in and they’ll feel right at home. If you can do so safely, light a fire in the fireplace.
Keep up with winter maintenance tasks
Make sure your winter home maintenance is up to date:
If you have a fireplace, make sure the chimney is cleaned out. You can do this yourself, or hire a professional.
Visually check your attic’s insulation to make sure there aren’t any gaps in coverage.
Winter-proof your water pipes. If you’re expecting temperatures far below freezing, keep your faucets on at a light drip to make sure the pipes don’t freeze and burst.
Seal any windows or doors that are letting in moisture or cold air.
Have your furnace inspected and serviced.
Don’t forget safety
Preparing your home for sale at any time of year can be a difficult task. Selling your home in the winter months brings the added risk of injury.
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Winter weather can cause devastating accidents around the home. Don’t risk it. Make sure your visitors are protected by clearing your sidewalks, driveway and any walkways of ice and snow. Then add a layer of salt to further minimize the risks of falls and slips.
Definitely decorate—but be mindful
The winter holidays come with a magic all their own. After all, what’s more beautiful than a cozy, warm home lit up by twinkling lights and a lavishly decorated Christmas tree?
Yet not all of your visitors will celebrate the same holiday. That’s why it’s a much better idea to keep your decorations neutral and free of religious connotations. Those twinkling lights and candles in the window will add warmth and beauty without putting a prospective home buyer off.
Don’t compromise on price
Many home sellers feel compelled to drop their prices in winter, especially if they’re under pressure to make a sale quickly. That’s a counterproductive move.
You and your agent should set your home’s asking price using comparative market analysis and existing market conditions. Dropping your price simply because you’re getting fewer showings than you’d expected or previously experienced is the wrong response. Those showings are dropping, in all likelihood, due to the weather, not because your home isn’t valued correctly.
Instead, turn to assertive marketing techniques. Make sure your real estate photos are the absolute best you can get, given your budget. And don’t forget to use social media. Look for Facebook real estate groups for your area, post your home photos on Instagram, and share the listing links on Twitter.