11 Tips for Selling Your House During Winter Months
Although selling a home during the Maryland winter can be a challenge, it’s not impossible. With the help of our tips below, you should be able to get your home off the market and sold within these few cold, bitter months.
1. Offer a Place For People to Take Off Their Coats and Shoes
If you have a front porch that’s outdoors, make sure it’s cleared of both ice and snow and is as dry as you can make it. You should also have a clean mat for homebuyers to wipe their feet, umbrella stand, coat rack, and a few pairs of slippers for people to wear around the property. After all, you don’t want muddy shoes tracking dirt and snow around your property.
2. Accurately Price Your Property
You don’t want to accurately price your property, which will lead to fewer homebuyers interested in your property. Take winter market trends into consideration and work with a realtor to make sure you’re not overpricing or underpricing your home. Although, there are fewer homes on the market during the winter, correctly pricing your home can lead to bidding wars, which can get increase the sale of your home. However, an overpriced home can lead to it sitting on the market for months, with no real interest among homebuyers.
3. Take Photos Throughout the Year
One of the best ways to sell your home in the wintertime is to take pictures of it throughout the previous year to show homebuyers what it looks like when it’s not covered in ice and snow, such as springtime and the fall. This way, you can also highlight your property’s best features, like an oak tree in the backyard or beautiful gardens in the front.
4. Avoid a Slippery Walkway
It doesn’t snow all the time in Maryland during the winter months, but when it does the last thing you need is a slip and fall incident when you’re showing your home to prospective homebuyers. Knowing that, make sure you clear your walkway of both snow and ice. However, we suggest hiring a professional so you can spend your time preparing your property.
5. Make Your House Appeal to Snow Lovers
Sure, snow may be a serious annoyance when you’re trying to drive or walk your dog, but there are a select group of people that love snow and go crazy when they see the words “close driving distance to local ski slopes.” Simply adding that the home is close to local stores can be a huge selling point if the area is constantly burdened with snow. So, do yourself a favor and use the snow to your advantage in selling your home during the winter.
6. Promise Comfort
Even if your property has been on the real estate market since the spring, you need to tailor your listing for the season you’re selling it in. For example, for the winter you should advertise the heating amenities, attached garage, skylights, etc. You should also mention if your home is close to local stores or fitness centers to attract winter homebuyers.
When people are looking to buy a new home, they want to imagine what it would be like for them to live in it. No matter what season it is, people do not want to see your home; they want to see their new home. Remove everything from the home that does not serve a function. This includes photos, family heirlooms, collectibles, memorabilia, and more. Take it one room at a time and slowly de-personalize your house. The fewer personal objects you have in your home, the better.
8. Take Down Holiday Decor
With the holidays quickly approaching, you may be planning on decking the halls to the extreme. However, when you are trying to sell your home, it is best not to overdo it. Keep your decorations simple and minimalistic and save the inflatable reindeer for your new home.
It is, however, alright to spread some holiday cheer. Make your home look cozy with throw blankets and pillows. You can also serve hot apple cider to your potential buyers. They can enjoy a nice warm beverage while browsing your home plus, it will make all your guests feel welcome. Additionally, making apple cider will cause the aroma to fill your home, spreading some holiday spirit and boosting the cozy atmosphere of the house.
9. Keep it Light
Winter days are shorter, darker, and usually cloudier. This means that you have to work even harder to ensure that your home appears light and welcoming. Dark and stuffy homes are always less appealing to buyers than bright and airy ones are. Turn on all the lights and bring in a few more lamps, if needed. You should also draw back the curtains from the windows to let in more natural light. Just make sure that the windows are sparkling clean first, though.
10. Set the Temperature
This is especially vital during the winter. You don’t want the house to be too cold or too hot when you are hosting your open house. Turn on the heat and set it at the right temperature to maintain a comfortable environment. Keep in mind that people will be entering and leaving all day long, opening and closing the door. Take this into account when picking out the temperature.
11. Be Careful of Your Pets
As mentioned above, your goal is to de-personalize your home. This can be hard to accomplish when you have pets around your home running amok. On the days when you have potential buyers coming over, try to make sure your pets are out of the way. During the summer, it is easy to let your pup hang out in the yard, though this is not recommended during the cold winter. Instead, send your dog to a puppy daycare or to a friend or neighbor’s house. Cats typically keep to themselves, especially when there are strangers around. Make sure you provide them with a place where they can hide like in a basement or under a bed.
Craig Linthicum Has over 13 years of real estate experience as well as selling some of Maryland’s most expensive properties. He will utilize market research as well as negotiation skills to get you the best price. Fill out the below form and Craig will be in contact with you. He can help you find out what your home’s worth and take the first steps to list it!