As a seller during the winter, there are typically less homes on the housing market so your competition will be significantly less than during the warmer months and the market will offer more serious buyers prepared to make a purchasing decision sooner than later.
Here are some tips to make your home offer-ready:
It’s all about the first impression. It is important to keep your home easy for potential buyers to access and inviting once they step inside the front door. Most importantly, keep the snow and ice cleared on your driveway and the sidewalks approaching the front door. Curb appeal is trickier with dormant grass, snow and the lack of color from flowers and plant materials. Make sure your front door gives an instant “welcome home” impression with a great paint color, a beautiful wreath and welcoming doormat.
Make it inviting. When you begin staging the inside of your home for buyers, think of it as welcoming them to your home as guests at a party. Make sure your thermostat is set to a warm temperature so potential buyers feel comfortable. Consider setting the formal dining room table with place settings and glasses, a nice centerpiece and flatware. Add some color with fresh flowers in the kitchen and make sure there’s a pleasant aroma within your home. You may not have time for a plate of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, but popular candle scents are cinnamon, apple pie or cider and vanilla. Keep it simple, though…and limited to one room. Too many fragrances will make the buyer feel as though you are masking an unpleasant odor from pets, smoke or musty areas. Have the carpets cleaned and replace any curtains, carpets or rugs that need it.
Cozy it up a bit. Toss warm throws across the sofas and master bed, hang a plush robe in your bathroom and put together a grouping of soaps and washcloths like a hotel or spa. Turn on soft jazz or classical music. Light a gas fireplace or candles if you the timing of the showing permits.
Take down the holiday decor. Now that the holiday season has passed, put away the decorations.
Keep it bright. Since daylight hours are minimal during the winter season, take advantage of natural light hours for showings when possible. In addition, wash your windows and leave curtains and blinds open to allow as much daylight as possible to illuminate your home. Turn on all the lights when expecting a showing and use high-wattage bulbs to help with the darker winter days.
Protect your home. To keep your carpets and rugs clean during wet and snowy seasons, you may ask potential buyers to remove their shoes or use “booties” to cover their shoes. Buyers will view that positively…that you respect your home and want to keep it clean.
If you’re ready to list your home, contact me for a FREE home market analysis!