American Dream of Homeownership Alive and Well This Winter

By Keith Loria

While the number of people out shopping for a home tends to decrease during the winter months, the shorter days and colder weather often bring out prospective buyers who tend to be more serious about purchasing a home. In fact, some real estate professionals argue that since there’s less competition, you might actually have a better chance of selling your home during the cold winter months.

The following tips will help you prepare your house for sale this winter while making prospective buyers that much more eager to offer a bid.

Real estate agents will tell you that a cold house is a major detriment to a house hunter in the winter. If prospective buyers come in and are freezing as they roam from room to room, they’re not going to want to stay for long. Be sure to turn the heat on—and even raise it a few degrees—to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. This will ensure that anyone interested in your home sticks around to soak up the nuances of the house.

Do you have a beautiful garden or a picturesque view of the trees? How about a pool or swing set for the kids? While these features may not be so noticeable in the winter, especially with a layer of snow coating the ground, be sure to offer a takeaway brochure of what your house looks like during each season. Let a buyer imagine themselves and their family living in the home year-round.

Speaking of the outside, make sure to prune the trees and eliminate any broken branches that could fall from the weight of snow or ice. Even though it’s cold, prospective buyers will want to take a quick walk around the home, and you don’t want to create an unsafe or unsightly environment.

If a big storm happens to hit around the time of an open house or a private showing, be sure to get outside and shovel the driveway and walkway well ahead of time. The last thing you want to do is to keep a serious buyer from being able to get a complete view of your home because snow is blocking their path.

If you have a fireplace, potential buyers will more than likely want to see it in action, so it’s a good idea to have plenty of logs and paper on hand, along with a fire starter log. You should prepare everything ahead of time so all the agent has to do is light one section.

One thing many sellers don’t think about is emphasizing the positive aspects of the home, the neighborhood and its location that are truly beneficial during the winter months. For instance, is your home close to public transportation? Does the town come quickly to plow the streets? Are there lots of kids in the neighborhood knocking on the doors to shovel the snow? Make sure potential buyers are aware of these additional benefits.

Selling a home during the winter isn’t impossible, and by taking advantage of the season—and not letting it take advantage of you—winter could wind up being your favorite time of year.

To learn more about selling your home during the winter months, contact our office today.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2013. All rights reserved.