Sell Your House in Winter? YES, it's a good time!
Updated: Jan 11
Many sellers that are ready to go on market with their home during the winter months ask us if it a favorable time of the year to sell their property? They are often surprised to hear that winter is a favorable time for a few reasons!
Serious Buyers are on the look
Staying inside and enjoying a cold winter day in the comforts of your home is most prefered over venturing out to look at homes when the weather is less than ideal. Therfore, home buyers who head out in the cold and snow to view homes are SERIOUS! These are the buyers who have an immediate need for a new home, and are not just testing the market to see what is out there. This won't waste your time as a seller.
New Year, New Beginning
The New Year brings new beginnings for many - especially those who have taken a new postion with a company. Larger corporations often resume the hiring process after the holidays. Sometimes this means relocation is required. Those that need to relocate are motivated to find a new place and settle down fast, so the focus may now be on the job. Having children increases the chance that the need to find a new home is urgent, if the children need to get back in school.
Fireplaces and cozy spots sell
Highlighting a fireplace for warmth and relaxation in the cold is accentuated during the winter months. Make certain to have the fireplace clean and in working order. Having a fire burning in the fireplace is a hit during cold months!
No fireplace? Creating a nook with a comfortable chair, warm throw blanket, and book also have the same cozy affect. These features are less appreciated in the warm months.
It's a fact that there are less homes for sale in the winter. Most sellers work towards getting their homes ready for spring, and the market picks up at that point. But if you can get on the market ahead of spring, there is far less competition and you will get the price you want, or in some cases, even more!
Real Estate Agents are looking to do more
Real estate agents are looking for winter listing as it is a slower business time. This means they may be more focused on your propery a little more than if they have multiple listings. When the spring market arrives, they’ll be busier with more clients. In Winter you have more of an opportunity to be a top priority.
Tips for Winter Selling
How can you make the most out of these winter benefits? We’ve got you!
Place for shoes: You don’t want potential buyers walking through your house with snowy shoes or boots. Place area rugs or mats for them to place their shoes on.
Make your home warm and inviting - The best way to show off your home is by making it cozy, warm, and welcoming. Make sure your home’s temperature is set to an ideal spot so that your potential buyers warm up as soon as they step inside. You also need to make sure it’s not too hot. Too hot feels stifling and uncomfortable. Remember the buyers are most likely already dressed for outside. Just keep the inside comfortable, 65 degrees is a good place to start.
Turn on the fireplace. Also, if you have “throw blankets” or pillows, put them on display. It will make your home a welcoming sight when coming in from the cold outdoors.
Sniff out odors: Holiday cooking, pets, and yes people, all create odors. Buyers want to buy your house, not your smells. Clean and vacuum more often when selling your home in the winter months. Fragrances and candles are fine but remember, less is more. Don’t mask odors with overbearing products, they just make it seem like you’re hiding something, and this is the last thing you want.
Play up the natural light: Winter means darker days - literally. There are fewer daylight hours. You can swap out your existing lights with brighter bulbs to add brightness. Wash your windows before viewings. It can amp up the natural lighting in your home making it more appealing for potential buyers.
Curb appeal is still important during these colder months. Your front door should get buyers excited about what's behind it. A fresh coat of paint or stain goes a long way in creating a strong first impression. You can also spruce up the front porch area. Add new address numbers, maybe some new outdoor lighting fixtures, or a new doormat. Small changes like this can make a big difference.
Snow removal is important. Don’t forget to shovel and lay down salt, if someone coming to view your house slips on the way in, trust us - that’s likely all they will remember from your home. Make sure the driveway stays clear of snow and ice. Once the fresh snow is driven or walked on, it gets difficult to keep it clear, so stay ahead of the snow. Make sure to leave a spot by the door for them to take off their winter boots - rubber mats are great for this!
Don’t forget the garage: Home sellers often use the garage for the storage of their belongings after they declutter their homes. The colder winter months just make moving stuff into the garage easier than moving it to off-site storage. Don’t forget a potential homebuyer will look in the garage. If it’s bursting at the seams, it could keep you from getting the best price possible.
The front yard? Yes, it sounds counterintuitive but it does matter. While most areas won’t have green grass this time of year, they won’t be covered with snow either. This usually leaves you with a nasty, yellowish-brown front yard. Do the best you can with it in terms of trimming, edging, and raking out leaves and other debris. Buyers don’t expect lush green lawns, but they do expect, neat, and well maintained.
Clean, Clean, Clean! - Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you shouldn’t clean up and de-personalize your house. There’s no bigger turn-off than a messy house. And putting away your personal items allows the potential buyer to imagine themselves living in the space.
So, go ahead - sell your home in the winter! You have nothing to lose. And it could really improve your chances of selling your home. Yes, there are fewer potential buyers but you will be in a less competitive real estate market and should find more serious prospective buyers. Housing inventory levels should also be at seasonal lows which can only help. So contact the Nienow Team about selling your house, today!