Selling In Winter? Tips to Help You Impress Potential Buyers

By John Voket

In the last segment, I began tackling the chilly chore of trying to sell your house during the darker, colder and icier winter season. So we will continue with some great advice courtesy of Dana Dratch, a long-time Georgia real estate pro and writer who blogged on the issue recently at

Dratch says as potential buyers come in out of the cold or snow, make your home a comfortable and cozy sanctuary. Consider things such as putting a warm throw on the sofa or folding back the thick comforter on the bed.

She also suggests:

• Emphasizing winter positives. Is your home on a bus route or some other vital service that is plowed or de-iced regularly in bad weather?
• Setting up timers to make your home look warm and welcoming whenever prospective buyers drive past, even if you're not home all the time.
• If you're not actually going to be present, greet your buyers as if they were going to be guests at a party. Set up a table with china and silver, have a plate of cookies out along with some warm cider or even chilled bottles of water.
• Give the home a nice aroma, but remember scented candles in every room or plug-in air fresheners can leave buyers wondering what you're trying to mask.
• Pet smells, smoke and musty odors can cling to curtains and carpets, so ask your real estate agent or a friend to give it a sniff test. If you don't pass, clean the house, air it out and replace drapes, carpets or rugs before you show it.
• Asking buyers to either remove shoes or slip on paper "booties" over their footwear before touring the house, showing a great degree of pride in ownership, according to one of Dratch's sources.

And depending on where you live in the “snow belt,” how about promoting your home as a year-round vacation spot? In some parts of the country, such as ski areas or warmer regions where the snowbirds flock, Dratch says winter can actually be a selling point.