Most homes hit the real estate market in the spring or summer, which is often considered the best time to sell a house. Homeowners try to use the curb appeal of flowering plants and lush, green trees to make their house seem more picturesque. However, not everyone has the luxury of waiting for summer to sell their home. You may need to move your home quickly because of a relocation or because you want to get an inherited property off of your hands.
But, there is good news for people selling a home in the winter.
There is less competition. Fewer listings mean demand may swing in your favor. Follow these top tips for selling a home in the winter so you don’t have to leave it up until spring.
#1) Keep Your Walkway Clear and Safe
Make sure the walkways and driveway of your home are cleared of any snow and are safe to walk on. Even freshly-fallen snow can turn to ice and create slippery conditions for your home. Slipping and twisting an ankle is not the best way to create a good first impression.
Once potential buyers are inside your home, set up a rubber matt to catch the water along with an area for their shoes, coats, and umbrellas. This way, they won’t track water and dirt through your home.
#2) Look for Winter Landscaping Opportunities
You can still take advantage of curb appeal even if there is snow all over the ground. Blow away leaves so they’re not brown and frozen in the yard and consider adding fresh mulch for when the snow melts.
You can also get creative with splashes of color in the winter. Evergreen trees and topiaries can provide a break from snow-covered trees that are mostly brown. You can even add some holly to create pops of red that invite visitors in.
These additions are small, but they can go a long way to create contrast from the traditional gray and white that dominates the winter landscape.
#3) Make Up for the Weak Winter Light
In the winter, the days are shorter and the sun is weaker, which means that even sunny days can feel dark. If there is cloud cover or winter weather, your home could feel darker and gloomier than it is during warm summer months.
Try to make up for this with your lighting. Let in as much natural light as possible and then turn on the lights and lamps in your home for the showing. You want to make people feel safe and cozy outside of the winter elements, no matter how blustery it is outside.
#4) Use the Holidays to Show Your Home to Buyers
Most people assume that buyers don’t want to look for homes during their holiday break; however, this is the only time some people have to look at houses.
While you can certainly celebrate the winter holidays when your home is on the market, also try to make yourself available in the days following for showings. Many people don’t work on Christmas Eve or the days before New Year’s Day. This could be a great time to show off your home.
#5) Create a Cozy Ambiance
Whether you are using the holidays to sell your home or your town can’t shake off the last winter storm, make your home feel warm and inviting. There is a big difference between stepping out of the snow into a warm, bright house over one that hasn’t turned the heat on. A warm home makes people relax, and your potential buyers may linger a little longer if they don’t want to return to the winter elements outside.
#6) Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate Competitively
Listing your home in the winter signals to buyers that you want to move it quickly. However, a buyer that is driving through the snow and facing the elements to look for a home is likely also highly-motivated to buy. They may be working against a deadline to buy a home, either for a relocation or because they sold their own.
This means you don’t need to be as flexible with the home price as you would have thought. When a potential buyer makes an offer, you can offer a counteroffer and negotiate the price. You don’t need to show how eager you are to sell the house.
Recommended Reading: 5 Ways to Sell Your House for More Money
Find the Right Realtor® for Selling a Home in the Winter
A Realtor® who stands by your listing in the winter can work to get you a fair price for your home. Even if you are highly motivated to sell, they can make sure you also get the quality of offers you deserve.
Find a Realtor® who can stage your home in the snow and negotiate with buyers. Use Effective Agents to sort through the top agents for your needs. By inputting a few search criteria, we can filter through our top Realtors® based on your goals. You may be able to sell your home sooner than you think.