There is no such thing as a bad time to sell, especially in today’s real estate climate. Contrary to popular belief, winter selling has many advantages. Buyers who make the effort to house-hunt during the coldest months are serious and motivated. The new year is also a great time for the real estate market: the new year means new beginnings, with many people making big changes in January.
Selling your home in Winter does come with its own unique set of challenges. Extra care needs to be taken to ensure your home is attractive, welcoming, and cozy.
Here are 7 tips to help with selling your home in Winter:
1. Ensure it looks great, from the outside. The weather is dark and grey, make sure to warm up your home’s curb appeal by adding lighting, cool-weather plants, and doing some landscaping. Your pathways should be clear and accessible. Stay on top of outdoor maintenance, remember that footprints in freshly-fallen snow can turn to ice when temperatures drop.
2. Make things sparkle. Cleanliness is key, no matter the season! Ensure you have the main things covered: clean the windows (inside, and out!), polish chrome faucets and mirrors, clean out the fridge, wash floors, deep-clean any carpets, and dust the entire house. Always ensure your trash and recycling is emptied before every showing.
3. Set the mood, and show the coziness of your space. In the winter time, potential buyers will be looking for a cozy, warm, and bright place. Create a mood in each of your rooms by adding a few touches:
- Living Room: Toss a throw over the sofa, turn on the fireplace (if you have one). No fireplace? Put the fireplace channel on your television.
- Dining Room: Place a beautiful centrepiece on the table to bring extra decoration to the room.
- Bedroom: Dress up your bed with fresh linens in a neutral colour palette.
- Bathroom: Hang plush robes, set up a decorative tray with soaps, lotions, and shampoos, and roll up washcloths with ribbon and place in a basket.
- Throughout your home: Place vases with winter blooms throughout. Turn on light jazz or classical music, open up all the blinds and curtains to maximize brightness. Ensure all lights are on before every showing.
4. Focus on warmth and maintenance. Potential buyers will have heat and maintenance on their minds. Ensure that the furnace, HVAC, and roof are all in good shape. Clean the gutters, air filters, and consider weather-stripping the windows. Heating costs are on the mind as well – can you do anything to improve or highlight the energy efficiency of your home?
5. Make your home warm and inviting with delicious smells. Your home should smell amazing but be careful not to overpower your space with deodorizers or perfumes – be mindful of allergies and scent sensitivities. Instead, consider baking a single cookie, or simmering some water and cinnamon on the stove top before a showing – this will make your kitchen feel warm and the smells will be delicious!
6. Highlight the use of your outdoor spaces in the winter. If you have a nice balcony or deck – do not leave it bare. Set it up with warm blankets, an outdoor heater or firepit – show potential buyers that your outdoor spaces are usable all year long!
7. Prepare for snowy gear. Have a thoughtful setup in your foyer with adequate space for people to hang up all their winter gear. Ensure you have a place to hang up coats, gloves, and hats as well as a mat for muddy and wet boots. Consider hanging up a “Shoes off Please” sign. This ensures that your floors will be clean if multiple people are coming through your house throughout the day. No one wants to be walking through a muddy or wet home!
If you are looking at selling your home in winter, or you have some questions, feel free to call me at 416.921.1112 – I am always happy to help!