Winter can still be a good time to sell a house, but you may have to work a little harder to make the space appear cozy, warm, and inviting against the dreariness of the season. Here are some helpful insights from top agents about how to sell a house quickly in cold weather.
1. Snow removal is important.
Snow is one of the biggest nuisances when you’re trying to sell a house. It’s important to take the time to clear any walkways so that buyers and agents can use them safely. If there are icy spots, sprinkle rock salt or sand so that no one slips and gets hurt.
2. Illuminate rooms and outdoor areas with lots of light.
Winter isn’t known for consistent sunshine, but let in what natural light you can. If you don’t have the best view from the windows, close the blinds or curtains and turn on the lights in every room, closet, and even the basement and/or attic. If you have a dark corner, use a spotlight or accent lighting to brighten the area.
Turn on exterior lights early to illuminate and make the home feel warm and welcoming to buyers arriving later in the afternoon or evening. Make sure to properly light up the address so they can easily find the correct house.
3. Make sure everything is sparkling clean.
This should go without saying, but if you want to sell your house, it has to be move-in ready. You’ll want to scrub every surface, remove any cobwebs or dust bunnies, and declutter closets and cabinets. If you need to, consider hiring a professional cleaner to do a deep clean every few weeks. It’ll be worth it when the offers start rolling in.
4. Keep your home at a comfortable temperature.
Do you like to keep the thermostat above 72 degrees during the winter? Maybe you’re okay with the cooler weather and prefer to keep it closer to 65 degrees. However, when you’re expecting people to come by to see the home, you don’t want it to be too hot or too cold. A comfortable temperature would be about 68 to 70 degrees.
5. Create an environment that’s cozy and inviting.
The winter is all about soft, fuzzy blankets, a cozy fire, and an atmosphere where you just want to curl up with a good book. You can create a welcoming vibe that’ll entice buyers by doing a few simple things:
- Lay a soft throw blanket across the arm of a chair or on the back of the sofa.
- Set your dining table as though you’re preparing for a nice dinner.
- Create a reading nook complete with a chair, side table, and a few good books.
- Have a few decorations for the holiday, but don’t go overboard!
- Consider hiring a home stager who can ensure rooms flow nicely into one another, position furniture, and make sure features are spotlighted.
6. Identify the Property Borders and features
To make sure there are no surprises in the spring consider outlining the property borders as much as possible. Consider using coloured rope along the borders or around features such as pools and gardens. In addition to driveways and sidewalks up to the property shovel off decks and patios so buyers will get a sense of what to expect in the other seasons.
7. Make it look great online
When it’s cold outside, buyers may spend more time investigating a property online before they venture out into the cold to see it in person. It may take more to lure a buyer out than it did in the warm, sunny days of summer, but they’ll likely take more time researching a property before they commit to a viewing. Properly staging and photographing a home intentionally is especially important in the winter. Hire a good photographer to take photos that highlight your home as a beacon of warmth in the snowy months and include detailed language that highlights what makes your home stand out. Consider including photos from summer months so that buyers feel confident imagining themselves living in this home throughout the year.
There Are Fewer Buyers, but They are More Motivated
In the winter, it won’t surprise you to find out that there are fewer buyers in the market actively looking for a new home. However, of those few buyers who are looking, they are much more motivated to take action.
Winter buyers are typically looking for a quick sale. They might be working with a job change, relocation or lifestyle changes that require them to find a new home ASAP.
Sellers can use this urgency to their advantage, negotiating more favourable terms, closing and even a higher asking price for buyers who are eager to make a move.
Fewer Properties For Sale Also Means Less Competition
In addition to having fewer buyers in the market during the winter, we also see reduced inventory.
Many people will either list in the fall or wait to list in the spring. So if you decide to sell during the winter, you are not only capitalizing on highly motivated buyers, but you are also going to stand out because of the limited available inventory at the same time.