The common belief seems to be that winter is not a great time to list your house: People would be more focused on the holidays and would have little time to shop for a house; and the weather can pose a challenge for repairs and renovations as well as for home tours.
However, some homeowners feel the opposite for the following reasons:
Fewer listings to compete with: Many sellers either take their home off the market during the winter or put off listing until spring. This means that if you’re selling, you’ll have less competition.
Holiday marketing: Winter allows you to create a sense of festiveness around your marketing campaign, whether it’s through direct mail, email, or social media.
Opportunity to highlight your houses’ energy efficiency: Buyers are increasingly becoming keen to save on their energy bills by adopting sustainable, green practices; and winter seems the perfect time to showcase your home’s efficiency.
Motivated buyers: A winter buyer’s market consists of buyers who couldn’t find homes over the summer and fall, which means they are highly motivated to finally make an offer on something that ticks the right boxes for them.
So if you find yourself with little choice but to list your house over the winter, don’t despair.
Here are 7 ways you can effectively sell during the winter:
1. Adjust your expectations.
Get used to the fact that selling in winter is not the same as selling in summer or fall. Expect a smaller number of inquiries and viewings and be prepared to address the unique challenges that come with showcasing a home in cold, gray weather.
2. Clear all paths to and around your property.
Accessibility is a huge deal when it comes to buying a home, so don’t forget to remove any obstacles that lie between the road and the front door. It should be easily apparent that moving around outside is nothing but easy, even a joy, with a clean well-planted yard and well-laid pavers or concrete paths.
3. Showcase your landscaping.
Your landscaping shouldn’t be buried under snowdrift when it could be a bright, colorful contrast to the gray winter skies. Be sure to choose plants that are suitable for the season, as well as keep the more delicate ones on your porch or lined up on your veranda. If you have window boxes and baskets, make sure they hold a winter-flowering plant to brighten up your exterior.
4. Give your prospects a glimpse of the house in other seasons.
Have pictures of your home in other seasons handy to show your prospects. Seeing these can help clarify your prospects’ expectations of what your house would be like all year long.
5. Highlight your home’s energy efficiency.
Here are four ways you can sell your prospects on your energy efficiency:
Keep the interior toasty. Give your prospects a warm welcome with a crackling fire and a heating system that’s running a hundred percent. These would be hard to miss for people who come in from the cold.
Seal where necessary. Keep the cold out with caulk and weatherstripping where necessary. A draft is the last thing you want prospective buyers to feel when exploring your home in winter. A draft can mean problems with your heating and cooling systems. That or you haven’t been diligent with repairs.
Check and upgrade your winter systems. Don’t sabotage your chance at a great offer with an appliance malfunction during a tour. Be sure to hire an expert to inspect, as well as repair if needed, the furnace and fireplace. This also applies to any other seasonal systems. Finally, make sure that your agent points out to prospects how your winter systems are in excellent working order. For the best results, replace any older units with Energy Star–certified models. Do your research about particular units to understand how to optimize their efficiency.
Update and upgrade your lighting. Keep the lights on even when you’re not home. It also can’t hurt to invest in path lighting or spotlights to create a warm, homey glow for anyone who drives by or drops in for a look. Just be sure to set your lighting on a timer.
6. Stage it.
If you’re no longer living in your home, you should have it staged by an expert to ensure its best features are appropriately highlighted and your prospects get a better sense of how it feels as a lived-in space.
7. Do some social media marketing.
Give your real estate agent a hand with marketing by going on social media to market your home. Share your listing on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You can post your listing details on local Facebook groups that cater to local home buyers and sellers.
Selling in the winter just means having to capitalize on a different set of opportunities. So prepare your home for a sale that doesn’t leave you cold.
If you need help with listing and selling your home, Team Clancy can take care of the details for you.
Contact us today and tell us what you need.