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Tips For Selling A Home In The Winter

Hanna KielarNovember 27, 2019

Many homeowners avoid selling their homes during winter months because they fear they won’t have any prospective buyers. But, this may be far from the truth. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors, 973,000 U.S. homes sold last winter. This means that 19% of homes successfully sold during the colder months.

So, if you’re ready to sell your home, why wait until the warmer months when you could be profiting now? Read on to discover how selling your home in the winter can be beneficial to your wallet. We’ll also give you insight into the top tips for selling before the spring arrives.

Why Is Winter A Good Time To Sell Your House?

Before we dive into tips for selling your home in the winter, it’s important to understand how this decision can yield a few financial benefits. So, here are a few reasons why winter is a good time to sell your home.

Less Competition

Since many people consider spring to be the best season to sell your home, many homeowners wait to list their homes until the spring. This increases the amount of inventory prospective home buyers have the option to view over the course of their home shopping experience. This may even lead to an oversaturated market. In relation to supply and demand, this could present a problem if you’re trying to sell your home at the best possible price.

Therefore, since few homes are available in the winter, this may be a better time to put your home on the market. With fewer homes to consider, your property may receive more attention.

Serious Buyers Shop In The Winter

The popularity of listing homes during the spring and fall months may entice potential buyers who are not serious about purchasing a home. Because they know that inventory will increase, they may just stop by an open house out of curiosity.

That said, prospective buyers who shop during the winter months don’t want to miss out on the perfect home. They don’t want to take the chance that another buyer will purchase the home before spring.

End-Of-The-Year Bonuses

Some employers give their employees end-of-the-year bonuses. This means that if a buyer has received a bonus during the winter months, they may want to use their bonus to upgrade their living accommodations.

Highlight Winter Features

The winter months are the perfect time to show off how your home can withstand the harsh elements. If you live in a cooler climate, potential buyers may want to see how your home will perform during the frigid winter months. For example, if you live in a cooler climate location, like Tahoe, buyers may want to see how the snow falls off the roof. Or, they may want to evaluate which direction your driveway faces, to see if a specific direction will help melt the snow faster.

Additionally, if you have a hot tub or a beautiful fireplace, this is a great time to highlight those features. They will make buyers feel cozy and right at home.

Tips For Selling A Home In The Winer

Now that you have a better understanding of the benefits of selling your home during the winter, you may be wondering how you can do it. Here are a few tips:

Make Sure The Home’s Temperature Is Comfortable

While you may be trying to save money on your utility bill, it’s important to remember you are attempting to sell your home. You want prospective buyers to feel warm and welcome the second they walk in the door. In order for them to visualize their life in your home, you want to make them feel as comfortable as possible. Keeping your home warm is one way to make it easier for them to connect with it.

Handle The Ice And Snow

If you live in a climate with snow and ice, it’s crucial to keep your home free and clear of potential obstacles or safety hazards. Your sidewalks, driveway and doorstep should remain clear and you should make sure you tend to it often. This will give potential buyers easy access to your abode and help them avoid a fall.

Properly Tend To The Exterior Of Your Home

One obstacle you’ll face when selling your home in the winter is the grime that accumulates outside. Often, during the harsh weather, your windows and siding will develop a layer of dirt that can leave your home looking drab and unappealing.

Remember, first impressions are everything. So, to ensure you’re making the best first impression, make sure you continue to clean the exterior of your home.

Keep An Eye Out For Ice Dams

Even though winter makes you feel like you’re living in a wonderland, it comes with some extra hazards such as ice dams. Ice dams make your home look magical, but they can increase the wear and tear on your property. Ice dams may form around eaves and gutters of your roof, which can cause damage. These formations can loosen or tear off your shingles and allow water into your home, which in turn can cause mold, ruined insulation or peeling paint.

Taking care of the ice dams right away will protect your home. It will also put prospective buyers at ease.

How Can I Sell My House Fast In The Winter?

If you really want to sell your home in a hurry, there are a few things you can do in addition to the pointers above. Remember that there is no magic recipe for selling your home, regardless of the time of year. Putting forth your best effort, and preparing your home in a number of ways, puts the odds in your favor. Here are a few ways you can do this, especially during the winter months.

Prioritize Coziness

Buyers want to feel warm and cozy the second they walk into your home. To improve the comfort of your home, you can add blankets, rugs, candles and pillows throughout the space. If you have a gas fireplace, you may want to turn it on when buyers walk through. These little touches will help buyers visualize their lives in your home.

Add Paint To Your Walls

It’s surprising how far a little paint can go. Even if you just freshen up the colors in a few rooms, it may completely transform your abode. Remember to choose neutral colors that most buyers can enjoy. Adding white can give your home a fresh and crisp new look.

Make The Most Out Of Your Entrance

In addition to ensuring your sidewalks and driveway are clean, you may want to add a little personality to your entrance. You could place lanterns on the way up to your door or add a nice new doormat to welcome your guests. Little touches go a long way, especially when welcoming potential buyers.

Show Your Home During The Day

During the winter months, you have a limited amount of time to show your home. It’s important to make the most out of your daytime hours. Showing your home during the day helps buyers see the entire inside and outside of your property. If you show it at night, they may miss the complete feel of the home. So, do your best to show your house during the daytime.

But if you must show it at night, make sure all of your exterior and interior lights are on.

Be Mindful Of Holiday Decor

Even though it’s the holidays, it is important to pay attention to the decor displayed throughout your home. While buyers don’t expect you to avoid seasonal decor, you may want to keep your decorations as neutral as possible. Keep it simple with white lights, maybe a little garland and a lush Christmas tree.

Show Buyers What The Home Looks Like During Other Months

To give buyers an idea of what the home looks like during other months, you may want to provide a photo album for them to browse. This will give them an idea of what they can expect when spring arrives. In the album try to highlight your curb appeal, gardens, patio, decks and other exterior features.

The Bottom Line

You don’t have to avoid selling your home just because it’s winter. If you make the decision to list your home during the colder months, prioritize making your home a cozy, well-maintained property to assure you maximize your appeal to buyers. By exerting the extra effort during the days your home is on the market, you will increase the likelihood that your home will sell. You’ll have plenty to celebrate when you have successfully sold your home.

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    Hanna Kielar

    Hanna Kielar is an Associate Section Editor for Rocket Companies focused on personal finance, recruiting and personal loans. She has a B.A. in Professional Writing from Michigan State University.