In a perfect world, we'd all be able to choose to sell our house at the most optimum time. When the weather is perfect, the yard is healthy, and everything is in perfect repair. Even if we weren't in that perfect world, it would be lovely if we could at least always time the selling for when the housing market is at its most advantageous for us.
Unfortunately, that's not at all the world we live in. We often find ourselves needing to sell our home at a time completely not of our own choosing. Maybe because of a job that's forcing us to move, or a health or economic issue or that leaves us needing to downsize. Or maybe just we've found the perfect new home and we need to take the opportunity while we can.
With that in mind, we recognize that even though we're now in a season that may not seem you have the best advantage, it is still possible to sell your home in the winter! Here's a few tips to help you still have the best success.
First, having photos of your home from other seasons is a great way to help show prospective buyers everything your home has to offer. Some great pictures with your summer landscaping can overcome the decrease in curb appeal that sets in when your buyers are looking at your property with the context of mud, slush, and ice that's so common to Midwest winters. Ideally, you want to keep a selection of pictures of your property for every season. That way even if you're selling in summer, a beautiful snow laden photo with can help show the summer buyer what your home has to offer just as much as a summer picture reminds the winter buyer that your home is beautiful even when it's not covered in ice.
Second, just because the weather has turned doesn't mean that you can stop considering your lawn care chores. You can get out of mowing the lawn, but you want to still consider the first impression your home makes. Keep your driveway and sidewalks clear. Make sure fallen branches and leaves are removed. If there's been a recent snowfall, consider touches like a nice snowman on the front lawn to give a homey feel to the property! Meanwhile, if you're selling during the holidays, be careful about decorations. Keeping things simple can help give your home the broadest possible appeal. Having too many different decorations can be distracting and may be off putting to a potential buyer. On the other hand, having no decoration at all may make the home seem spare and sterile. Having the help of a good real estate agent can be helpful here, as they have direct experience with what buyers in your area are looking for and can provide valuable advice on how best to present your home.
When it comes to the interior of your home, you’ll want to put a focus on warm and inviting appearance to offset the cold greyness of the outdoors. If you repaint, give consideration to warm earth tones where feasible, and find ways to enhance the impact of natural light where it is available. Give thoughts to the scents that you have in your home when someone first walks in. Smells like cinnamon and yeasty baking bread can be perfect for communicating a welcoming presence to visitors. Again, keep decorations simple so as to not overwhelm potential buyers, but making sure there is a feeling of life to the home goes a long way to helping those who walk in to see it as their potential home.
Finally, it’s important to remember that you can turn what may at times seem like your biggest frustration with selling your home in the winter, the low traffic and lack of attention, can be turned to your advantage. Having fewer buyers on the market means those buyers are more likely to be motivated and also means you have the freedom to give them more attention. Fewer people turning out for your open house leaves open the possibility of creating a more personalized experience. Create hand written cards to go around the home, calling attention to notable features you want open house visitors to notice. Set up displays for visitors with the pictures you’ve taken of the house and information about the neighborhood. Notes about what you’ve loved about the area can be helpful, as well as information about valuable locations such as the closest library or grocery store. Because you’ll likely have lower traffic with winter open house, you can take the time to give more one on one attention to each visitor, so be ready with a smile and a handshake!
Remember, selling your home in the winter may not be ideal, but it is possible. Look for the unique opportunities you have, and when it comes to getting your home ready to sell, don’t forget to give us a call!