Winter is thought to be the slowest time of year for home sales. Sellers who have been on the market for a while take their home off the market and homeowners who are thinking of selling say they will wait until spring. Inventory is lower and buyers who are out looking at homes during the winter months are serious buyers. It just might pay to have your home on the market during this time. Here are some tips to keep you ahead of the competition.
As with any other season, it is important to make sure your home is clean, free of clutter and de-personalized. Since Winter is the time to stay warm and cozy indoors, show off all of your indoor amenities instead of the outside areas. If you have a gas fireplace, highlight that feature by turning it on the fireplace. This will give the home warmth and make home inviting to potential buyers.
Make sure all outside entries to the home are cleared of snow and ice. Place a welcome mat at the front door. Encourage visitors to remove their shoes to protect your floors. Add a basket of shoe covers near the front door or put up a sign requesting that shoes be removed. A coat rack will let them know it is alright to take off their jackets and get comfortable in the house. The longer they visit, the more easily they will be able to place themselves in the house as the owner.
Bake cookies and heat up some apple cider. Set them out with a note offering the goodies to the real estate agent and their client. They will stay longer if they are enjoying a snack and remember your house as special, which is hard to do when viewing several homes in a day. Don't skimp on the heat. Keep it comfortable for the guests, not too hot but warm enough to let them thaw out after being out in the cold.
One benefit of being on the market during the winter season is that so many people pull their homes off the market and there is less competition! Buyers that have to find a place at this time of year are more likely to come take a look at everything available in their price range because there is usually less inventory to choose from.
Winter sales do happen so hang in there.