It’s common knowledge that Spring is the best time to sell your home but the facts are that homebuyers are seeking new houses all year long. And while winter hardly seems like an appealing time to sell a home (e.g. harsh weather, fewer daylight hours, snow-covered lawns, and leafless trees), it actually is an incredible time to sell a home and here’s why:
- Buyers have a sense of urgency (wanting to be in the home before the holidays or before mortgage rates go up in the Spring).
- Winter buyers tend to be higher motivated and better qualified for purchasing homes.
- Studies show that homes sell for more money in the colder winter months (December-March) compared to non-spring months (June-November).
- There is less home inventory on the market during the winter, meaning more attention for your home when it’s listed and faster selling times.
While the reasons to list your home in the winter are appealing, preparing your home to sell in the winter months can be a different beast. But that’s why we’re here. Read on to learn how to sell your home during the winter:
Bring in the light.
The low light, snow-covered yards, and grey skies of winter can definitely subtract from your home’s outdoor and indoor appeal. Counteract the season’s limited natural light by adding seasonal greenery (holly, pine, etc) to the exterior when possible and warming up the inside by turning on the lights, adding home-staging touches such as throw blankets in the living room, and painting your home an off-white to help it appear bigger, brighter, and consistent.
Turn on the heat (early).
Winter month buyers want to step into a quiet, comfortable and warm home. Turn on your heat early in the day to reach peak temperatures so when buyers attend during an open house, they are greeted by a warm, inviting, cozy home instead of a cold or HVAC blaring environment.
Make your home easy to get to.
During non-winter months, buyers simply have to walk to your front door to tour your home. However, in the winter months, it is important to clear a path in the snow to your front door. It’s also important to clear a path from the road to the sidewalk so potential buyers don’t have to step over or into large snow banks if they’ve parked at the curb. Don’t forget to lay down salt and sand to allow your buyers to walk without fear of falling on ice.
Limit the seasonal decor.
Distracting or religious decor can be a huge turn off for potential buyers. Limit your seasonal decor to seasonal items (natural winter decor like holly garlands, sprays of pine, etc.) vs holiday items (menorahs, nativity scenes, etc.).
If you have a fireplace, light it.
While warm weather buyers look to the outside for entertainment and focus on the yard, winter buyers are looking for how well the house can help them survive the time inside. This makes it the perfect time to highlight the cozy fireplace in the living room and the basement playroom.
Listing your home this winter
There are plenty of benefits to listing your home in the colder, winter months (November-March). To get the best price for your home and to sell it faster to a highly qualified buyer, consider the tips above and don’t forget to reach out to your local real estate agent (us!) to get the most value out of selling your home… now and any other time of the year.