There are obvious cons to selling a home in the winter, but don’t get discouraged. The pool of potential buyers might show signs of ice on the surface, but it’s not frozen solid. What’s the best part about selling a home in the winter market? Less competition from other home sellers. But if selling your home with snow on the ground causes more goose bumps on your skin than the north wind, here are some tips to consider when showing your home:
Don’t let your guests slip and fall. The worst way to make a first impression is to appear unapproachable; therefore, make your home especially inviting. Keep all walkways clear and ice-free to curb the chance potential buyers might slip and fall. Sure, you want them to fall in love with your home, but you don’t want them to fall in front of it. A fall might bruise their ego and your chance of selling.
Remove shoes and provide slippers. No one wants the slushy outdoors brought inside, especially if you have carpets. Purchase a few pairs of inexpensive slippers in various sizes and arrange them neatly next to the front door. Create a whimsical welcome sign requesting that guests remove their shoes and use the provided slippers. Want a less expensive idea? Go to your local hardware store for slip-on paper booties. Amazon sells them too—50 pairs for about $10.
Everyone loves homemade cookies. Everyone knows that the smell of baked goods can make a whole house smell divine. You’ve most likely heard of the Real Estate Cookie Trick, which is when you bake cookies prior to an open house to fill the home with a scrumptious aroma. Why not use the Cookie Trick to your advantage in the winter months, especially during the holiday months? Your guests will love the smell and appreciate the warm snack. No time for baking? Scented plug-ins are available in a variety of pastry smells—just choose subtle scents that appeal to most people like vanilla, sugar cookie, or apple pie.
Don’t leave buyers in the dark. Fact is winter months have short days, which means that showing a home after normal business hours means a dark home. Remember the first tip about making your home inviting? An inviting home is a bright home so open all the windows to maximize natural light. If it’s too dark for that then try to illuminate the inside as much as possible; turn lights on at strategic places throughout the home—entryway, kitchen, hallways.
Set the mood. When buyers come to a showing they imagine themselves living in that home. Encourage a positive experience by making your home appear cozy. Place a warm throw on the back of the sofa, play some soft music in the background (classical is a great, subtle option), and set out those cookies you baked. Go one step farther and actually stage your home: set the dining room table like you are about to host a dinner party.
Need some help staging your home? Our Home Services department partners with local contractors that specialize in professional staging. Call 1-866-295-MOVE or click here.