There’s a reason that spring/summer is touted as the ideal time to put a home on the market, the grass is green, gardens have sprung, walkways are clear and there’s an abundance of natural light, making the home look its best. Winter can tend to jeopardize curb appeal with brown grass, slush and snow. Here are just a few tips to prove that it’s definitely possible and downright desirable to sell in the midst of winter.
1. Keep the home clear of snow and ice
(Image provided by Ottawa Citizen)
Stock up on shovels and salt and keep all walkways and driveways clear for the duration of your sale period. This includes any outer areas that may need to be accessed for inspection purposes.
2. Think warm and cozy
(Image provided by Homeowneroffers.com)
3. Adjust open-house and showing times
Take advantage of the highest point of sunlight by adjusting open house and showing times to mid-day (ideally 11am to 2pm).
4. Additional outside lighting
Ensure garden and landscape lighting on the exterior of the home is visible through the snow and install additional lighting in any dark corners, especially around the front door.
5. Have a system for footwear
(Image provided by Apartment Therapy)
Winter footwear can track dirt, water and salt stains. Keep things clean and communicate a pride in ownership by having a system for footwear during showings, whether it’s a larger rubber mat or some type of shelving.
6. Ditch the decorations
This is certainly a festive time of year, but best to keep things clean and simple while trying to sell. Avoid clutter and distraction by skipping the seasonal decor.
7. Emphasize winter positives
Is your home close to a great tobogganing hill or a community ice rink? Are you just minutes from the ski hills? Does your street get priority snow removal? Seek out winter positives and make sure to communicate them to prospective buyers.
8. Price to sell
One characteristic of the winter market is generally a slower pace of transactions. There tend to be fewer buyers and fewer homes on the market during the winter months, so the opportunity for multiple bidders is low. Pricing your home to sell (ie. at fair market value) is all the more important in winter.
9. Advertise with spring/summer images
Although potential buyers will see your home in its winter state in person, keep advertising images clear of snow whenever possible to give an idea of how the home will look in the other three seasons.