Even in the middle of the winter holiday season, you're going to have buyers out there. And most people who buy during the holidays are highly motivated. They're quality buyers, not just lookers. It also helps that interest rates are usually much lower during this time.
Tips for selling a housein the winter:
This will help you to show your home's features' to the fullest extent, sell your home quickly and will make the experience a rewarding one for both you and the potential buyers.
1. Keep snow and ice at bay.
If the buyer can't get in easily, the house won't sell. That means keeping walkways and driveways as free of ice and snow as possible. Just like trimming the lawn in the summer, you want to make the home look like it's been maintained. If you're away frequently or live in an area that's subject to bad weather, it can pay to hire a service to regularly salt or shovel the driveway and sidewalks.
2. Warm it up.
When you're showing during the winter, think warm, cozy and homey. Before a buyer comes through, adjust the thermostat to a warmer temperature to make it welcoming. Sellers like to turn the temperature down because of heat costs but, buyers who come in and aren't comfortable won't stay long. If you have a gas fireplace, turning it on right before the tour, can give the house a little ambience. With a wood-burning fireplace, you've got to be a little more careful. If the house is vacant, don't chance it. But if you're still living there and will be there during the tour, it can be a nice touch.
3. Take advantage of natural light.
Make the most of the light you do have. Have the curtains and blinds cleaned and open them as wide as possible during daytime showings. Clean all the lamps and built-in fixtures, and replace the bulbs with the highest wattage that they will safely accommodate. Before you show the house, turn on all the lights.
4. Get the windows washed.
Buyers act on the first impression. Windows are one thing that many sellers don't even consider. In winter, that strong southern light can reveal grime and make it look like the home hasn't been well maintained.
5. Play music softly in the background.
To create a little atmosphere, tune the radio to the local classical station. Turn it down so that you barely hear it in the background. Soft classical music tends to have the most appeal to buyers. People will tend to stay around a little longer and look a little longer.
6. Make it comfortable and cozy.
Set the scene and help the buyers see them selves living happily in this house. Consider things such as putting a warm throw on the sofa or folding back the thick comforter on the bed. Tap into the simple things this time of year that make you feel like you're home.
7. Set up timers.
You want your home to look warm and welcoming whenever prospective buyers drive past. But you're not home all the time, so put indoor and outdoor lights on timers. Look at the outside lighting around the door. Is there enough illumination to make it inviting? If not, either have the fixtures changed or have new ones added.
8. Make it festive.
Even if you're not actually going to be present, greet your buyers as if they were going to be guests at a party. Set up the dinner table with the good china and silver. Have a plate of cookies for your guests, some warm cider or even chilled bottles of water.
First impressions are so powerful. If it looks like you're expecting me and greeting me as company, that's a powerful impact.
9. Give the home a nice aroma.
The No. 1 favorite? Chocolate chip cookies, just about everybody likes that smell." Other popular scents: cinnamon rolls, freshly baked bread, apple pie, apple cider or anything with vanilla, cinnamon or yeast. Don't overdo it. Scented candles in every room or those plug-in air fresheners can leave buyers wondering what you're trying to mask. Watch the bad smells, too. Pet smells, smoke and musty odors can cling to curtains and carpets.
10. Protect your investment.
Some sellers will ask buyers to either remove shoes or slip on paper "booties" over their footwear before touring the house. It indicates a pride of ownership and meticulousness that resonates with buyers.
11. Use the season to your advantage.
While the holidays are over and all the ornaments are down you can still use winter wreaths and dried arrangements around the door to spark interest. Anything seasonally appropriate is fun.