Although traditionally spring and fall are the prime seasons for selling a home, circumstances sometimes require homeowners to put their property on the market during the winter. The good news is that, given access to mobile apps and so much information online, selling in mid-winter may not be so tough.
The supply of homes for sale (your competition) is light, and buyers are still looking. If you have to list your home during the winter, you’ll get a pass on landscaping and some curb appeal issues. But there are some important points to consider when listing your home during the cold months.
Be sure the home is easily accessible
If there is snow or an ice storm, clear the driveway, sidewalk and any pathways on which potential buyers may walk. If there are back steps, don’t forget to clear those, too.
You never know when a buyer will want to see the home. In markets where your agent uses a lockbox for showings, you could get a request for a last-minute showing any day.
Keep the heat on
There is nothing worse than walking into a cold home. It’s not warm or inviting, and that affects the buyer’s senses. A chilly reception ensures their first impression is not a good one.
If you have an upcoming showing, be sure the heat is on and the house is warm and cozy.
Show off your winter wonders
If you have a fireplace in your home, there is no better time to show it off than the winter months. Buyers love walking into an open house where there is a fire going. It adds to the ambiance and provides a comforting feeling.
Talk with your agent ahead of listing to make sure that they are on board to use the fireplace. If you haven’t serviced it in a while, get it cleaned to be certain that using it doesn’t backfire. Keep the kindling and logs loaded up at all times.
Let buyers see your outside attributes
In the warmer months, it’s not uncommon for buyers to step out on the deck, down into the yard and into the landscaping. They will want to see the outdoor space and get a feel for the lot and the land.
Although in winter buyers may be less likely to tour the grounds, they will still want to know what’s there. If you have a deck, pool, patio or outdoor features that add value, make sure it is visible from inside. If the winter months or snow make an outdoor asset invisible, be certain that your marketing features it so buyers get the whole picture.
- The Ins and Outs of Showing Property
- Can You Afford to Buy a New Home and Rent Out Your Old One?
- Full Disclosure: Reveal Your Home’s Flaws to Speed the Sale
Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow.
Originally published January 16, 2015.