28 Dec Selling Your Home in the Winter: Five Essential Tips (Part 1)
Selling your home during the winter presents opportunities and challenges. There are fewer homes on the market and buyers who must buy a home now are typically more motivated. Knowing how to stage your home outside and indoors can boost your chances of selling more quickly and for a great price.
This blog post is the first in a two-part series that will help you reach more buyers and sell faster in the winter. In this post, you’ll learn four simple things to make a good impression outdoors plus tips about seasonal changes to your home’s online description. Next month you’ll learn five things to do indoors to make your home stand out with buyers.
One: First Impression
Curb appeal is even more important in the winter. A scrubbed, up-to-date front entrance can turn a drive-by into an interested buyer.
Start with the front entrance, whether it’s a stoop or porch.
- Scrub the front door inside and out
- Power wash the porch or stoop floor and any stairs
- Wash windows on or surrounding the front door
- Replace bulbs with those that cast a warm glow
- Install easy-to-read house numbers
- Paint or replace the mailbox
If your front porch is typically the winter dumping ground for snowy boots, wet gloves and hats, and bulky coats, clear a nearby closet for use. No closet? Organize by installing hooks, shelving, and a boot tray.
After you’ve got your front entrance in order, give a little attention to your side or back entrances. Your home will be more inviting no matter which door they enter or exit.
Two: Mother Nature
Keeping the walkways and driveway clear of snow and ice is a no-brainer. Additional yard work can go a long way in helping buyers envision themselves in living in your home. Homebuyers will be less likely to see a to-do list of outdoor chores and more likely to imagine themselves enjoying themselves in your yard.
If you haven’t gotten around to raking those leaves, now is the time. Be sure to clear away all piles and bags of leaves. There are other outdoor tasks to make your yard inviting:
- Pick up twigs
- Trim low-hanging branches
- Discard dead annuals
- Move flowerpots to the garage or basement
- Remove dormant perennials if they look messy
- Prune shrubbery
- Repair gates and fences
Is cleaning gutters your least favorite chore? Homebuyers likely feel the same. If you don’t have the time, tools, or expertise, hire someone to clean the gutters, or remove yard debris for you — ditto for having snow cleared after each snowfall.
Three: Seasonal Décor
Love decorating for the holidays? When your home is on the market, it’s best to keep decorations to a minimum. Potential buyers may celebrate different holidays than you, so stick to a winter theme rather than a holiday theme. And save bright multicolored lights and that giant inflatable Santa to decorate your new home next year.
Other outdoor holiday decorating do’s include:
- Hang a holiday-neutral wreath on the front door: pinecones, twigs and berries, dried fruit or flowers, or simple greenery are good options
- Install strings of white lights outdoors to make your home seem warm and inviting
- Battery-operated candles on window sills add a warm glow
- Place a potted evergreen next to your door
- Update your welcome mat
Four: Minor Upgrades and Updates
Making repairs and upgrades to the outside of your home can be a challenge when it’s cold. Watch for warmer days, dig out your tools, and get to work.
You’ll need to schedule outdoor painting when at least three days of 45 degrees or warmer weather is forecast. Otherwise, remove the fixture to the garage or basement to paint.
A pretty front door color can draw eyes to your home. For the front door, choose a color that fits the style of your home and your neighborhood. A home in a trendy neighborhood might get away with a teal or lime green front door. Paint the front door of a more traditional home a dark red, slate blue, deep gray, or mossy green. Bright purples and pinks are often considered too taste-specific for front doors.
Other outdoor repairs and upgrades to consider:
- Replace a broken storm door
- Repair torn window screens or cracked glass
- Update outdoor lights and sconces that look dated
- Update front door hardware and locks
- Paint porch railings and posts
- Remove or repair the broken front porch swing
Five: Online Home Description
Changing the way you describe your home’s attributes in the winter can help to entice buyers. Consider highlighting the following in online and printed profiles of your home:
- Post photos of your room-warming fireplace or wood stove
- Showcase a dining room large enough for holiday gatherings
- Describe a newer, energy-efficient heating system (and windows)
- Brag about the attached garage or mudroom
- Talk about access to winter activities such as sledding hills or cross-country ski trails
- Map out routes that make driving easier in bad weather
Need to Sell Your Home Fast?
If you want to sell your home quickly during the slower winter months, we can help. We will buy your house as-is and give you a quick cash offer. No commissions or fees. No appraisal. No home preparation. Give us a call at 301-994-SELL or contact us today to learn more.