Winter Home Selling Challenges
Winter is often thought of as the most difficult time of the year to sell a home. The truth is it’s a buyer’s market and buyers know that. Sure, many buyers put their home search on hold in favor of holiday activities and winter nesting. But many buyers are also pressed to move for a variety of reasons (job relocation, expanding family, etc.), reasons that don’t allow for the convenience of a spring or summer home search. And buyers like having the advantage. The fewer buyers out there looking, the more motivated the buyers out there are to secure that property before the market becomes crowded again with competitive bids.
So for home sellers, it’s a great time to show your property in its best light and stand out even in a slower market. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your winter time showings:
Invite Them In: A welcoming walkway and entry are key to an effective winter home showing. If a prospective buyer drives up and can hardly get to the front door because of snow or icy walkways, they’re likely to turn right around and move onto the next property. Welcome them with shoveled sidewalks, staircases and walkways. Salting the paths for entry to your home not only provides a courtesy but prevents any slips or falls for which you might be liable.
Add warmth to your entry with holiday decor like lush greenery with Christmas lights, for instance. Decorating the front porch can give ambiance summer showings lack. Show the buyer how comfortable and welcoming your home can be.
Scrub-a-Dub-Dub: Though you can’t give your exterior a new paint job during the winter months, a nice wash with warm soapy water on a warmer winter’s day goes a long way toward freshening the appearance of your home’s exterior. Wash down the windows so that the season’s sunlight doesn’t reveal the grime from winter weather when a buyer looks outside.
Warm it Up Inside: Winter offers home sellers the opportunity to show off the sheer comfort of their home. Homebuyers want a haven during the winter months. Even the most outdoorsy person enjoys a sweet retreat during the winter, so take the opportunity to make your home cozy and comfortable with warm colors, textures and lighting. Stage the home with plush pillows and throws. Make sure your home is well heated for every showing. If the home is well heated upon entry, prospective buyers will enjoy the change in temperature as they come in from the cold and more readily see the home as a space they can call their own.
Remember, first impressions count! The first 10 minutes are crucial in a showing, and if the home is as cold inside as it is outside they won’t make it past the foyer.
Sweet Scents Count!: Add warm welcoming aromas to go with your decor. Have some freshly baked chocolate chip cookies on a platter, for instance. Vanilla scented candles are great too when you can be there during the showing. But often sellers or their agents aren’t around during a showing. So freshly baked brownies are a nice way to give that homey, welcoming feel to your showing.
The bottom line is even though the buyer pool is decreased, you can rest assured those looking for a home during the winter months are serious buyers and they’ll want to see your home in its best light or they’ll walk.
Pay attention to details and make your home appealing this winter by making it comfortable in current conditions. Warm it up (in more ways than one) and you just may swing that sale.
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