Strictly speaking, while the market is slower in winter, there’s also less competition from other vendors, so financially speaking a winter sale could be beneficial. However, there are a few things to consider in a winter market.
Which direction does your house face? If it’s south facing, chances are it might be colder, darker and damper in winter. Sometimes a spring or summer sale can disguise these negative features, and indeed, your house may truly shine in those months, making it a better proposition to wait. Is your house dark and gloomy in winter, and do you have a cosy fireplace or good heating system?
If you can make your home warm and inviting in the cooler months, then it can be a powerful time to sell, as buyers can be attracted to a homey comforting space. In some cases you might have no choice in the timing. Below are 5 tips to consider in a winter market.
- Arrange inspection times when the light in your house is best. If darkness is a real problem, negotiate with the agent that it is only open during daylight hours.
- Clean your windows to maximize the light and brightness. If you need to have the lights on, make sure the bulbs give off a warm light rather than a stark cold light.
- If your house is damp inside, run a dehumidifier in the lead-up to the inspection or hide supermarket moisture absorber traps in your wardrobe or anywhere prone to mildew. Take special care with the bathrooms, which can get very mildewy in winter.
- Air the house properly and get rid of last night’s dinner smells. In summer it is easy to ventilate by opening windows but in winter ,it is crucial to open and air the house some hours before you have an open house.
- If you have fireplace, have the chimney cleaned and have it crackling away at inspection time. Remember to light it in plenty of time to warm the space. If you have ducted air, preheat the house to a comfortable temperature and if you rely on heaters, make sure they are discreetly tucked away and don’t take away from the ambience of the house.
As winter roles in we tend to turn up the temperatures in our homes. To make potential home owners comfortable, you need the temperature to be set just right. Not too cold or not too hot.
Main rooms in homes (kitchens, dining rooms, living rooms) should be set around 20c. This temperature is comfortable and promotes well being and communication.
Bedrooms should be set a little cooler. They should be set around 16c. This promotes relaxation and sleep.
It may be difficult to sell your home in winter. Guidelines are different for selling your home in winter than in summer.
- Curb appeal: There is a huge different between summer curb appeal and winter curb appeal. This should be obvious, Think SAFETY FIRST! A slip or a fall on the way into your home will not only create a bad first impression, but could potentially result in a claim on your homeowners insurance.
Make sure driveways , front steps and porches are shovelled regularly. Don’t have time? Hire a teenager in the neighbourhood looking to earn a few extra dollars. Or hire a professional company to shovel for you.
Use salt or sand on icy patches; make sure there is no chance of falling.
- Pay special attention to lighting and windows: Since days are a lot shorter in the winter, it is very important to maximize the amount of natural lighting coming in by opening shades and blinds. Keep windows clean and clear. It can be easy with winter snowfalls for things to start looking really dirty, really quickly.
- Add some seasonal touches: Decorating seasonally can help potential buyers feel at home. However, something you may like won’t please others. Christmas lights should be removed after January. If your home is being showed at night in December, feel free to turn on the christmas lights. Have fun with winter. If you have kids, build a snowman. This may help potential buyers picture themselves in the home.
The thing I love most about home staging is making home buyers fall in love with the property. There are many ways to do this:
- The first and most important thing, is making the potential buyer comfortable in the home. The home should be welcoming; there should be many things to look at in the home and the temperature should be warm and comfortable.
- Help the potential buyer picture themselves in the home. Different types of properties will have different potential buyers. If the home is beside a school or a playground, it is most likely that a young family will move into the area. Young families like spending time with their families, playing board games or baking cookies etc. Setting up little scenes around the house will help the buyers picture themselves in the home.