There’s a widely held belief that it’s not a good idea to sell your home in the winter months, because many believe that spring and summer are when most potential homebuyers are shopping. While it’s true that many house hunters are out searching in warmer weather, this doesn’t mean that the winter is off limits. Here are some reasons you should consider sell a house in the winter months!
While plenty of serious buyers want to begin and end their hunt when it’s warm, the few brave souls who are willing to go out in the cold are really serious about finding a place. January, for example, is often a popular time for people to begin new jobs. If the buyer is relocating, they are ready to get in and settled quickly.
Due to the myth that the winter is bad for buying, many sellers opt to wait to put their house on the market until spring. But being one of the few houses on the market can work to your advantage. When the buyers are limited and the houses are limited, you might get a quicker sale than you thought!
While not always a given, the reality is that if there are less houses on the market there’s usually less work for title companies and lending office. This means you have a better chance of a realtor taking care of your paperwork of sooner rather than later.
So if you do decide to sell in the winter months, what should you do to make sure your house really catches the eye of buyers? (Just because there may be limited options doesn’t mean your home shouldn’t stand out above the rest!) Here are some tips to prep your home for a winter sale.
Keep the driveway and walkways free of snow, and make sure you put out ice melt or sand on any icy patches. This makes your home welcoming and accessible. Another thing to consider is turning on your outside and inside lights, especially if the showing is going to be later in the day or in the early evening, when it gets darker sooner. This will be both welcoming and safe.
Keep it Fresh.
If you know in advance that you’ll be selling this winter, take time to freshen up the outside. Touch up paint on the trim and doors of your house to make those colors pop in the snow! Be sure to clear out any old or dying plants leftover from the summer, and trim up outside shrubs to keep everything neat and tidy.
Hang up or set out some seasonal decorations to make your home seem festive and inviting. While greens and reds are best around the Christmas season, whites, blues, silvers, and golds are great for January, while subtle reds and pinks are perfect for February.
Set the Stage.
Make the most of the season by showcasing how cozy and comforting your space can be in the cold. Cozy throws, decorative mantles and kitchens, and other warm accents are perfect for this. Many homebuyers don’t have the option of seeing houses for sale during the winter, so this is a great way to peak buyers’ interest by showing them how great your space is year-round. And make sure you set the heat to a comfortable degree. You don’t want potential buyers stepping from one freezing temperature to another! (Bonus: don’t forget to showcase the warmer months too. If you have a great garden area, for example, but it’s currently covered in snow, set out some pictures that show every treat your home has to offer.)
These are just a few tips on why and how to sell in the winter, and we think they’ll benefit you well this winter season. And remember: no matter what time of year you sell, there are always inconveniences and stressors that seem to pop up when buying, selling, or moving. Don’t let a little ice and snow keep you from what’s best for your family and finances!