Showing Your House In The Wintertime

Often, when people think about selling their home, they assume that the best time of year to make a sale is during the warm weather months. And while it's true that spring is the busiest time of year for real estate, selling a home during other seasons is not only possible, but can even pose some unique opportunities.

It might seem daunting to try to sell a home during the winter months in particular, but there are some things that you can do to capitalize upon the best aspects of the season. Here are just a few considerations when you stage your home for a wintertime sale. 

Warm things up –In the winter, the shorter days and nip in the air demand coziness. Even if you are selling a larger home, everything from throw pillows to down comforters can suggest warmth. Feature a warm palette and play up areas of your home where people like to congregate during the winter months, like the kitchen, dining room, and next to the fireplace.

Bring in the summertime – Bring a little summer greenery indoors with well-kept houseplants that remind prospective buyers that your home is a home for all seasons. Even a small potted herb garden can suggest an aura of the outdoors.

Light the way – This is especially important during the evening hours. Winter is a dark season with fewer hours of daylight and earlier sunsets. Program timers to activate lights earlier in the day to ensure that your house is brightly lit. If your home has areas that benefit from natural sunlight, encourage your agent to schedule showings during the times of day when those areas get the most sun. Throw open the curtains and let the light shine in – but make sure your windows are spotless first.

Feature the holidays – But keep things tasteful! Think refined rather than showy. Candles and understated floral arrangements featuring greenery like holly and evergreen will be more enticing to a discerning buyer than flashing lights and gaudy ornamentation. That collection of Santa Claus statues you put on display every year? Think about saving them for when you're in your new home.

Invest in aromas – The winter months are the perfect time to play up some of the most inviting scents of the year. Think about what seems homey to you. Cookies baking? Apple cider bubbling? Pumpkin muffins or cinnamon scones? All of these appealing aromas will make your house seem more like a home.

Of course, winter also brings with it a few inconveniences – the main concern being weather. As always, keeping an eye on the forecast can help you plan for any eventuality, but here are a few other considerations.

Winterize! – Make sure that storm windows and doors are installed and have your furnace serviced to make sure that it is in working order. If your home is particularly energy efficient, this is a good time of year to play up that attribute to prospective buyers.

Keep the exterior clean – If you're busy, now might be the time to enlist a service to plow your driveway or a neighborhood kid to help clear smaller paths and walkways on your property. Remember that a showing could be scheduled at any time, so have a contingency plan that includes everything from a light dusting of snow to an ice storm.

Some indoor considerations – Winter is notoriously messy. Snow, ice, and slush can get tracked into a home, so make sure that you have mats both inside and outside your entry doors to eliminate constant cleaning. Ask family member to remove shoes and boots when they come indoors, and make certain that your floors are swept and free of dirt each day.

Wintertime may seem like a daunting time of year to sell a home, but there are actually some benefits to showing a home during the winter. By following some of the tips above, there are plenty of ways that you, as a seller, can use the season to your advantage.

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Leigh Young

Leigh Young

Realtor - Veteran Specialist
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