11 Tips For Selling Your Home In The Winter

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11 Tips For Selling Your Home In The Winter

  1. Curb appeal matters in the winter! The outside of your home is the first impression buyers will have. Keep your sidewalks and walkways shoveled, salted if need be, and free of ice. A freshly shoveled walk gives the great first impression you’re going for - and you won’t have snow tracked into your home. It is also part of the overall effect you want to convey: You are an owner who takes care of your home.

  2. Winter doesn’t have to mean dreary: add a pop of color outside with a wreath, a flag or a new colorful welcome mat. Don’t ignore your planters just because it’s winter - many greens survive winter elements and give needed color to the front of your home. Add color inside the home with fresh flowers, orchids, and bright throw pillows.

  3. Provide booties for potential buyers to wear, or ask to have shoes removed (most buyers don’t mind this.) Put an extra entry mat near the front door so buyers have a place to put their shoes. (Keep all of the family shoes, boots and winter gear neatly in a basket or tray in a closet.)

  4. While icicles may be pretty, they could be a sign that you have ice damming. Do not try to knock the icicles off - you could damage the gutters. Call a roofer.

  5. Make sure your windows are clean. Let the buyer see how the sun streams into your home instead of showing off dirty windows. Clean windows give the overall feeling of a well maintained home.

  6. Be aware of how the air smells in your home. Because you are much less likely to open the windows during the winter months, the inside of the home can smell stale. (You are probably used to the way your home smells - I had no idea my house smelled like bacon until my niece told me!) Avoid cooking odorous foods - fish, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, etc. If you are going to cook anything, bake cookies or a pie -  baking smells are nostalgic and ‘homey’. While you are decluttering the rest of the home, don’t overlook your refrigerator. Assume that buyers will open everything - you don’t want your otherwise fresh home to smell like a dirty refrigerator.  Personally, I would say to avoid room fresheners. I walked through a  house that had caramel apple scented plug-ins in every room! I have heard more than one buyer wonder if an air freshener is ‘covering something up.’

  7. No kitty litter. I repeat. No. Kitty. Litter. Take it out of the home or at the very least put it in the garage for showings. Clean up any dog messes outside.

  8. I have mixed feelings about suggesting you have a fire in the fireplace during showings. Sometimes, it’s very easy if the home has a gas fireplace and gas starter. It is welcoming, but I would only suggest this if you have an agent accompanying the showing. As an alternate, turn your television or computer to the fireplace channel, and enjoy the beauty and crackling sounds of a fire without any danger!

  9. Do you have beautiful landscaping you’re proud of? A fabulous fire-pit, outdoor patio or mature trees that turn lovely colors in autumn? Provide photos of your home in all seasons. Your realtor can enlarge the photos and make them part of your marketing material.

  10. Make sure your home is warm. If you usually try to keep the temperature down in the winter, splurge while your home is on the market. Buyers will immediately feel welcome in a warm home. (If you don’t make a habit of changing your HVAC filters, now is a good time to start. Make sure you have a clean filter when you put the home on the market.)

  11. In the winter, we have less hours of daylight. Turn on all lights for showings (especially the hard to find light switches) and keep the porch light on. Make your home as bright as possible. Now is a great time to sell your home!

Katie Hauser