Selling a home in winter is a tough proposition for anyone living in a climate where snow, ice and sleet are the norm. Almost all real estate looks uglier and less inviting in a setting with gray clouds and dirty old snow. Still, selling a home in winter is possible, using many of the same methods that people use throughout the rest of the year.
Make Your Home as Accessible as Possible
A treacherous, snowy driveway or walkway can easily turn off potential buyers. It may even prevent your home from being seen. Keep the driveway and walkways to your house completely clear of ice and snow.
Shovel regularly—immediately after the snow stops, or even while light snows take place—and use salt to prevent ice from forming. Replace your smaller front and back door mats with larger mats to ensure that guests are able to fully remove ice from their shoes as they enter. This will prevent them from slipping once inside, and will keep the interior of your home looking nice for open house events.
Stage Your Home
Staging is as important in the winter as it is during the rest of the year.
- Leave the snow undisturbed in your yard. This may be difficult because you'll be shoveling your walkway so often, but it's worth it. Yards filled with snow are considered picturesque and beautiful.
- Turn up the heat for open houses. Assume that the front door will be opened again and again during an open house event. Turning up the heat will keep your visitors comfortable and portray an atmosphere of luxury.
- Put out blankets, pillows and other decorative touches to make your home look "cozy."
- Light a fire in the fireplace, and set out holiday-scented candles in public areas of the home. This only applies to open-house events and is only an option if you'll be at home the whole time.
Serve holiday snacks like warm spiced drinks and cookies during open house events. Show visitors how easy it is to entertain in your house, and evoke feelings of family and holiday cheer. The more welcomed and at home guests feel inside your house, the better.
In some ways, selling in winter has its advantages. With less activity in the real estate market, there's less competition among homeowners, and active buyers may have fewer choices. By capitalizing on these advantages, and by staging appropriately, it is possible to sell a home in winter.