Contrary to popular belief, winter, particularly the holiday season, is a great time to sell your single family home. Sure, it is a lot more work for you when you are already juggling the end of the year holiday rush, but it is always a lot of work to sell a home. So many homeowners pull their home off the market when the snow starts to fly, thinking that it may be better to wait until spring to sell. They're wrong. The time to sell is now.
1. Shovel: The key to selling a home in the winter is to keep your driveway and front walkway fastidiously shoveled. Hire a company that promises to come out to your home first and to come out often. You don't want a contract that says they will only shovel after two inches has fallen. You need them on top of it and should be willing to pay a premium for it. Why? Many buyers will not bother to get out of the car if your driveway is not shoveled. At the very least, they start the showing annoyed, which is never good. Another insider secret is to take the time to shovel your back deck or patio. It encourages buyers to step outside and take a closer look.
2. Salt: Liberally apply salt. Heck – buy stock in the salt companies. You want to make sure that no one slips and falls on your driveway or front walk. Chances are the showing will abruptly end and the buyer will take their bruised ego home.
3. Holiday Décor: No one expects you to stop celebrating the holidays just because your home is on the market. Decorate as you normally would with one caveat. Keep things toned down and minimal. Let buyers see your house, not your decorations. Think of it as 'Holiday Lite' this year.
4. Heat: While it is common practice to turn your heat down a little when you leave for work, try to maintain the same temperature throughout the day. The more comfortable buyers are in your home, the longer they will linger.
5. Competition: The best kept secret, however, about selling your home in the winter is that your competition disappears. As more and more sellers pull their houses off the market, the available pool to choose from dries up for buyers. Your house begins to look more and more attractive to them. As an added bonus, the people that are squeezing a house hunt into their busy holiday schedule are dead serious about buying one, and fast.
Instead of taking your home off the market, take a deep breath and stick it out. You won't regret it.