Traditionally, most people think that selling in the winter is impossible and not worth the endeavor. BUT winter can be a great time to sell. Sure there’s less daylight hours and you no longer have the appeal of a lush green yard but there’s also less competition and some pretty easy tricks to still make your home look warm and inviting during the cold snowy months of winter.
First you want to make sure your photos are from spring/summer so prospective buyers can see the year round beauty of your property. Then emphasize things that will appeal to a winter buyer like new furnace, attached garage, and energy efficiencies. Here are some common tips to make your home more desirable during the winter:
- Set a realistic price. Most agents talk about this no matter what time of year it is, but you’ll get the most attention with attractive pricing from the get go.
- Keep the ice and snow at bay. We all know how tough this can be in WI, but you will need to make sure the drive way and walk ways are free and clear of snow. Keep a layer of sand on the walk ways. A rubber mat and an umbrella holder for those rainy days at the front entrance will help keep things clean. You may want to consider asking people to wear those disposable booties to maintain the cleanliness of your floors. You still want some good curb appeal so maybe a nice holiday wreath on the door and a nice welcome mat to set the mood before entering the home.
- Let in as much light as possible. Have the windows cleaned and keep all the blinds open. Lights in all the rooms should be on. Good quality light bulbs are a must.
- Keep it warm. It’s cold outside so while we try to be energy efficient and set the thermostat on the low side you should turn up the heat for showings. If you have a fireplace, have a nice fire going. It provides warmth and a certain feeling that will appeal instantly to buyers. Not to mention it shows how well maintained your fireplace is (so make sure it’s clean and there is proper ventilation).
- Set the mood. There’s a strong need to feel cozy and warm during this time of year and it’s really important to convey that to a buyer. We talked about staging last time and you can get pretty creative this time year. Keep any holiday decorations to a minimum as you want to maintain that de-cluttered and clean look to keep it visually appealing. Have some light jazz or holiday music softly in the background. Aromas like coffee, vanilla, and cinnamon are the most pleasing for most people. Fresh baked chocolate cookies not only give you a great smell but make for a nice treat for those walking through your home.
- When planning an open house, staging will be a big thing. Think Better Homes and Garden magazine. BUT most importantly for us Wisconsinites is to plan around football. Most games are in the afternoon so plan your open houses accordingly. You can certainly get creative and mention that the game will be on if you need to have an afternoon time frame 🙂
Don’t be afraid of selling in the winter. With a little upkeep you might find yourself onto your next endeavor before sooner than you thought possible.