When selling your home during the winter, you benefit from typically less homes on the market. In addition to lower inventory, the market will be filled with more serious buyers who are prepared to make a purchasing decision.
So here are a few tips to make your home offer-ready:
Make a great 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 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.
Be 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 up your home. 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.
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 gray 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 a real estate professional to get you started. And, be sure to contact us for help with your title needs!