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8 Tips for Selling Your Home in the Winter
Holiday cheer, falling snow, and hot chocolate by the fire — The end of the year is often referred to as the most wonderful time of the year, but that may not be the case for everyone.
The winter is often considered the off-season in real estate. If you are trying to sell a home during winter, you may face some unique challenges. People typically do not want to move during the holidays. When you combine this with the high interest rates this year, some buyers are hesitant to hit the market at all. As a result, demand will drop toward the end of the year, and houses will likely sit on the market longer. Many sellers will resort to dropping their price, and buyers will have a bit of an upper hand.
How to Sell Your Home During Winter
While it may pose some added challenges, selling a home during the end of the year isn’t impossible. Winter can be a good time to sell a house if you know what you are doing and how to make the most of the current market. Follow these tips for selling your home in the winter to get your home off the market fast and still for a good price.
Prioritize Winter Maintenance
If you are going to put your house up for sale in the winter, you need to ensure that any winter maintenance is taken care of. Your heater should be in good shape. You will also want to make sure you fix any drafty windows or insulation problems. You want your home to be a respite of warmth and comfort when people come to see it. If people are shivering as they look at your home, they will be much less likely to want to buy it.
Get the Exterior in Order
With old leaves, bare branches, and piles of snow, the winter can sometimes hurt a home’s curb appeal if you don’t do anything about it. If you are selling a home during winter, you need to make sure you clean up and update the home’s exterior as needed.
If there are still loose leaves around the property, clean them up. The yard should be raked, and the gutters should be clear. A landscaper can take care of any other miscellaneous needs like pruning tree branches or trimming shrubbery. All walkways, sidewalks, and driveways should be cleared of snow and ice immediately. You want your home to be safe and accessible for any last-minute showings or open houses. You should also remove icicles and piles of dirty snow if possible.
Keep It Clean
Wipe down all surfaces, keep the clutter to a minimum, sweep the flooring, and dust. This is obvious and should be done regardless of the time of the year, but in the winter there are sometimes some other considerations. Snow can lead to people tracking in water and dirt to your home. Especially if you have hardwood flooring by your entrance, you want to avoid this. A welcome mat, shoe cubby, or shoe covers by the door can often help minimize the water and potential damage.
Brighten It Up
Another important tip for selling a house in the winter is to brighten up your home. During the winter, the sun is often hidden away behind the clouds. This lack of natural light can leave your home looking dark and uninviting. To make your home more appealing to buyers, make sure there is plenty of lighting of similar wattage. You may need to update some light fixtures to accomplish the right lighting, but it can make a huge difference in the overall appearance of your home.
Choose the Right Décor
If you are looking to sell your home during the holidays, you may be tempted to go all out with holiday décor, but that could be a mistake. Religious decorations can be a turnoff to some buyers, and silly holiday décor can look tacky or make the house look cluttered. You can use holiday decorations when selling your home, but you need to do so in a smart manner. Think minimal and classy decorations like garlands, candles, or small lights.
You could also focus on décor that makes your home feel warm and inviting from the cold weather. Think cozy blankets, a fireplace that is on, books, and mugs. With the right décor, some houses even show better in the winter. If you are unsure how to find the right balance, a professional stager could help.
Find the Right Agent
Because winter is the off-season for real estate and because people often go away for the holidays, some agents take an extended amount of time off during this time of the year. You want to ensure that you choose an agent who will be around and attentive to your needs. Along with just being there, you also want an agent who is experienced with the end-of-the-year lull and has some specific winter real estate marketing ideas, to help get your home off sold.
Be Prepared to Make Some Concessions
The hot market of the pandemic is gone. Couple this with the end-of-the-year drop in demand and you may need to make some concessions. If you are selling your home in the winter, you may need to lower the price, or you may not have as much power at the negotiating table. Talk with your agent about your priorities as well as what you are and are not willing to compromise on. They will help you determine the best approach for moving forward.
Wait & Update
While you may be tempted to rush to get your home on the market before the holidays are in full swing, it may not be the best choice. In our survey, 77% of buyers said they would only consider homes that are move-in ready.1 If your house doesn’t meet this standard, it will only sit on the market longer. Instead of listing right away, you may want to take some time to make necessary fixes and updates. That way when your home does hit the market, it will be in tip-top shape and more likely to sell quickly.
If you are selling your home in the winter, we want to help. As pre-listing general contractors, we do everything from basic preparations to major updates. The best part is that you do not need to pay anything upfront.
To get started, talk to your real estate agent about partnering with us today. If you still need a real estate agent, we may be able to help with that too. Contact us and we will look to match you with a real estate agent in your area.
- Curbio (2022). Preparing to Sell: 2022 Home Improvement Report