Selling in the winter is not all about curb appeal. You can look up how to sell a house in the winter and pretty much all you'll find is articles on staging, landscaping, and curb appeal, but that's not all there is to to selling. You have to appeal to the buyers by offering them exactly what they want when they need it. If people are looking to buy in the winter, especially if you live in an area that gets a lot of snow and ice, chances are they're going to be extremely serious. There only can look at homes that fit their search criteria and they're going to be serious about negotiating and buying quickly. If you want to appeal to a wide range of winter homebuyers, here are eight simple tips.
#1. Set reasonable expectations.
It's not spring, which means you're not going to have a plethora of homebuyers on the market, but, right now is an excellent time to consider selling because interest rates are extremely low. In December, 2019, interest rates were the lowest they have been in seven years, which means that there is all whole new onslaught of buyers on the market. However, it doesn't mean that you need to overprice your home. Regardless of when you sell pricing is the key ingredient to getting your home sold quickly. Talk to your agent about reasonable expectations. How many people you should have come through your home, how many open houses you should have if any, and what to expect on an offer.
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#2. Showcase a variety of photography.
If you have any beautiful photos of the outside of your home that's not covered in snow, now is the time to showcase them. Buyers need to see the home in all aspects, which means summer, spring, and fall. Your agent should know the best images to use but if you have beautiful images of landscaping, bright green grass, and a gorgeous landscape on a clear and blue sky day, those are the ones to use in addition to the interior photos now.
#3. Make sure all of your winter appliances are working.
Now is the time to make sure that all those winter appliances are working correctly including any furnaces or heat pumps, HVAC systems, central air (even though they won't be using it for a couple of months) and anything else a buyer or new homeowner would need during the cold winter months.
#4. Brighten up the exterior.
It gets dark about 4 o'clock around here these days so you'll want something that brightens up the walkway, stairs, driveway, or paths. A lot of buyers will be looking at homes once they get home from work, which could mean in the evening. If you illuminate everything and especially turn on all the lights in the house and open all of the curtains and drapes, it will seem more inviting to a potential home buyer.
#5. Make the interior warm.
Buyers want to feel cozy, invited, welcoming, and warm when they enter your home. That might be having the fireplace going as long as it's not a fire hazard. This could mean candles, beautiful scents such as cinnamon, apple pie, or chocolate chip cookies. Buyers want to see throw pillows and plush blankets over couches inviting them to curl up with a good book on a snowy afternoon. By creating these warm and inviting atmospheres in every room of the house including bedrooms, dining rooms, and family rooms, it will evoke a sense of belonging for buyers and make them want to stay, linger, and hopefully buy.
Additional: Do Buyers Care About Walkable Neighborhoods?
#6. Seal up the drafts.
Nothing turns the buyer away more than a cold draft coming in and out of a door or passing by a window. If there's cold draft coming out of the vent on a fireplace, the vents on the wall or floor or around windows or doors, it could be a big red flag for homebuyers. Seal up all of those cracks and drafts before listing.
#7. Fix anything and everything that can be fixed easily.
If buyers look over your home and find minor issues that could be fixed for less than $10 and a little DIY elbow grease, they may be concerned there are larger issues that have not been addressed as well. Any small issues such as correcting holes in the wall or doors, fixing leaky faucets, replacing door jams and cleaning door and window tracks are all items that should be addressed before listing. A good rule of thumb is anything that can be corrected or fixed for under $100, should be done before listing.
Additional: Easy Cleaning Hacks When Listing
#8. Market everywhere.
You don't need to leave the marketing and advertising up to your agent alone. You may have an entirely new sphere of influence that can reach more homebuyers than your agent. It's their job to market, create flyers, sit open houses, and marketed their sphere of influence but don't neglect your own. You never know when a friend's friend might be looking in your area. Market on social media and don't just do it once. Market at least once or twice a week on all of your most common and most used social media.
Selling in the winter time can be a great opportunity for many sellers. There's not a lot of competition and again, you have serious buyers. It can be one of the best times of the year to list and sell your property.
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