Sure, there are fewer buyers and the skies are gloomy. So warm and brighten up the place; make it look like a refuge from the weather.What makes selling a home more stressful? Selling it in the middle of winter.

The lawn is brown, the weather is usually bad and, unlike the longer days of summer, you have less time to show it off during daylight hours.

But not everyone has the luxury of waiting until the traditional spring or summer home-buying season to plant that “for sale” sign. And while it’s true that in most areas you’ll probably have fewer buyers during the winter, you will have less competition from other sellers.

The season makes staging — the concept of showing your house at its best — even more important.

Be prepared to put a little effort into it. It’s more difficult to make something look really appealing this time of year.

If you do it right, you can really make your house stand out.

1. Keep snow and ice at bay.

If the buyer can’t get in easily, the house won’t sell. That means keeping walkways and driveways free of the frozen stuff. Just like trimming the lawn in the summer, you want to make the home look like it’s been maintained. If you’re away frequently or live in an area that’s subject to bad weather, it can pay to hire a service to regularly salt or shovel the driveway and sidewalks.

What’s your home worth?

2. Warm it up:

If you’re showing during the winter, think “warm, cozy and homey.

Before a buyer comes through, adjust the thermostat to a warmer temperature to make it welcoming. Sellers like to turn the temperature down because of heat costs, but buyers who come in and aren’t comfortable won’t stay long.

If you have a gas fireplace, turning it on right before the tour can give the house a little ambiance.

With a wood-burning fireplace, you’ve got to be a little more careful. If the house is vacant, don’t chance it. But if you’re still living there and will be there during the tour, it can be a nice touch.

Many times, sellers leave right before the agent and prospective buyers arrive. In that case, adjust the heat to a comfortable temperature and have the hearth set for a fire. Buyers feel the warmth and see the potential, and you don’t have to worry about safety concerns.

3. Take advantage of natural light:

Encourage showing during the high-daylight hours. At this time of year, if you show after work, you’re totally in the dark.

Make the most of the light you do have. Have the curtains and blinds cleaned and open them as wide as possible during daytime showings. Clean all the lamps and built-in fixtures, and replace the bulbs with the highest wattage that they will safely accommodate. Before you show the house, turn on all the lights.

4. Get the windows washed

Buyers act on the first impression. Windows are one thing that many sellers don’t even consider. In winter, that strong southern light can reveal grime and make it look like the home hasn’t been well-maintained.

5. Play music softly in the background:

To create a little atmosphere, tune the radio to the local classical station. Turn it down so that you barely hear it in the background. It’s soothing, soft classical music tends to have the most appeal to buyers.

6. Make it comfortable and cozy:

Set the scene and help the buyers see themselves living happily in this house. Consider things such as putting a warm throw on the sofa or folding back the thick comforter on the bed. Tap into the simple things this time of year that make you feel like you’re home.

7. Emphasize winter positives:

Is your home on a bus route or some other vital service that means it’s plowed or de-iced regularly in bad weather? Be sure to mention that to the buyers.

8. Set up timers:

You want your home to look warm and welcoming whenever prospective buyers drive past. But you’re not home all the time, so put indoor and outdoor lights on timers.

Look at the outside lighting around the door. Is there enough illumination to make it inviting? If not, either get the fixtures changed or have new ones added.

9. Make it festive.

Even 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 the dinner table with the good china and silver. Have a plate of cookies for your guests, some warm cider or even chilled bottles of water.

First impressions are so powerful, if it looks like you’re expecting me and greeting me as company, that’s a powerful impact.

10. Give the home a nice aroma.
The No. 1 favorite? “Chocolate-chip cookies. Just about everybody likes that smell.

Other popular scents: cinnamon rolls, freshly baked bread, apple pie, apple cider or anything with vanilla, cinnamon or yeast.

But don’t overdo it, either. Scented candles in every room or those plug-in air fresheners can leave buyers wondering what you’re trying to mask.

Watch the bad smells, too. Pet smells, smoke and musty odors can cling to curtains and carpets. Ask a friend to give it a sniff test. Then clean the house, air it out and replace drapes, carpets or rugs before you show it.

11. Protect your investment.
I will ask buyers to either remove shoes or slip on paper “booties” over their footwear before touring the house. Many buyers like that. It indicates a pride of ownership and meticulousness that resonates with buyers.

12. Use the season to your advantage.
While the holidays are over (and the Christmas and Hanukkah stuff should come down), you can still use winter wreaths and dried arrangements around the door to spark interest. Anything seasonally appropriate is fun,.

In the winter, with the leaves off the trees, you might also have a nice view that isn’t as apparent in the spring and summer months. It’s a great time to sell waterfront properties, You can see the views better this time of year.

Well I hope these tips help in the next couple months of selling. Remember just because its a slower time of year does not mean buyers are not out there. Have a great weekend!

READ RECENT BLOG & ARTICLE POSTS BELOW

Virtual Staging

There has been a lot of advances in technology this year, and one of the areas is virtual staging. It has come down so much that some agents are looking at this as viable alternative to staging, rather than have the place look empty on photos and videos. In my...

read more

Price Drop 30% put into Perspective

The prices of sales in the GTA have come down 30% from last year. Let's put this stat into perspective. The prices from January to April sky rocketed and then came down after that. Of course they are going to be a lot lower since the prices jumped so much. The media...

read more

Are You Ready For Your Information To Go Public?

I read the articles, I read the comments, people want information. They want it all. That is the new way of doing business. They want all of the information that real estate agents have access to, and they want it for free, and they want it now. People think they have...

read more

ADDITIONAL COSTS WHEN BUYING A HOME

The purchase price of your home is only one of the costs you'll encounter. Here are other possible costs you need to consider:   Mortgage loan insurance: If you are putting less than 20 per cent of the house value down, you're going to need mortgage loan insurance....

read more

Over Rated Home Features

When I do an open house or put a house up for sale, I always get a few questions about features that I always say, why do you want that. Here they are: 1. Central Vacuum: Why do you want to lug around a snake and try to clean the house? Its simple, its called Dyson....

read more

Uber is Not Like Real Estate!

I read articles all the time written by Real Estate agents who are trying to convince themselves that we are in a good business to be in, and that it is necessary to use an agent for every transaction. In Toronto, put up a sign and your property will be sold by the...

read more

Transit Solutions Would Help Lower GTA Prices

One thing that can truly help lower GTA prices are some major transit solutions. It is apparent that the GTA market and all of the surrounding areas have gone buck wild in the past few years, and especially in the last few months. So many sales records have been...

read more

Why You Should be Underpricing Your House For Sale?

Its all about quantity and impression.When people are buying a house, they get into some-what of a HEAT! Underpricing Your House drives that heath up. I would call it a hunter gatherer mind set. Buyers are constantly on the hunt, and one thing that I've noticed is...

read more

Would You Go Into a Court Without a Lawyer?

Buying a house and using the listing agent is like going into court without a lawyer to represent you. Each and every time I have a listing, I have somebody calling me asking me "what's the price if I don't have an agent and buys directly though me?" I always want to...

read more

Liberals Are Going to Tank This Market!

What is the one thing the liberals are looking for right now? Votes and money. The way that they will try to get both is to try and capitalize on this hot real estate market.    The middle & lower class does not like the fact that they cannot afford any real...

read more

Get On The List

Once You Subscirbe you will receive new build specials, exclusive listings, and get on our sneak preview list. Join Now

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest