Many people believe it’s harder to sell your home in winter than summer. But there are a number of real advantages to selling during the colder months. With less activity like you’d find in the spring and summer market, sellers can take a little more time to consider offers, and with fewer homes on the market, there’s less competition. Keep in mind that the things that lead people to make new home purchases — a new job, a growing family, up- or downsizing do happen all year round, and there are still plenty of buyers out there; winter is a great time for playing up your home’s cozy, family-friendly charm.
Start with the outside
As with any time of year, make sure that the house looks well maintained and cared for, with eaves troughs clean and minor repairs taken care of. While you can’t paint in winter, making sure the exterior is free of cobwebs, sand and dirt can make a big difference. Make sure the windows are freshly washed as well; you want as much light coming inside as possible.
Tend to foliage
Make sure that tree-branches bent down with snow don’t obstruct walkways or entrances; brush the snow off or prune bushes if necessary. Ensure that the walkway is shovelled and ice-free before every showing; not only is this a courtesy and crucial to making the home look well maintained, but if a visitor slips and is hurt, you could be on-the-hook for damages.
Adorn the entryway
A wreath on the front door, Christmas lights and a garland hung on the door frame or front porch send a welcoming message. You could plant urns with festive greenery, the fuller the better: along with cedar or pine boughs, tuck in sprigs of holy, silver ball ornaments and some ribbon. There is so much decor inspiration online if you need some help.
Make a good first impression
Once a prospective buyer comes inside, remember that you may have only 10 to 15 minutes to make a lasting impression. Keep in mind, that what buyers smell is very important. Try to ensure the garbage is taken out, cooking smells are aired out (unless it is fresh baked goods!) and cat litter is clean. This would be a good time to use spray air fresheners or diffuse essential oils.
Candles & Fireplaces
Many people recommend lighting candles for fragrance or having a glowing fire going in the fireplace. We would caution against this; you should never have any flames going and left unattended. Use safe alternatives like battery powered candles and electric fire places if you wish.
Consider putting big, colourful poinsettias, winter flower arrangements in vases or simple amaryllis throughout the home. Decorate banisters and mantels with pine garlands (natural ones impart a fresh and nostalgic fragrance); a decorated and lit Christmas tree or menorah during the holiday season enhances an image of home and family and helps buyers imagine themselves settling in your home.
After the holidays, seasonal decorations can be taken down, but urn arrangements and even the front door wreath can stay up for the rest of the winter, if it isn’t too “Christmas-y” in design. Make sure you continue to maintain walkways clear of ice and snow, and think warm thoughts!
As always, remember that realtors are here to help, if you have any questions, need advice or referrals please let me know.
Call Terri Hastings