Selling Your Home in the Winter
Here in the Poconos, selling a home during the winter months can be a challenge. Dreary, cold weather can keep buyers away and heighten fears of your home staying on the market longer than expected.
If you are serious about getting your home sold, you should realize that this is actually a great time to sell your home. You may think you should take your home off the market because there are fewer buyers out at this time of year. That is true, however, those buyers who are out home shopping in the winter are very serious buyers. During the slack time in the market, the less serious buyers drop out. So show your home now to those serious buyers, especially as at this time of year they have less homes to choose from, lessening your competition.
There are a few things that you should do to increase your home’s appeal during the winter. Staying on top of winter maintenance and chores is a sure-fire way of adding value to your home. A neatly shoveled driveway and cleared walkway are a must. Don’t forget to shovel by the side doors, the garage and decks. It is fine to have sleds, toboggans and that sort of thing visible as it will reinforce the idea that your home is fun. Just be sure they are leaning against the side of the garage or the side of the house and aren’t where someone will trip over them.
Make sure boots, coats, gloves, scarves and all those other cold weather items are placed neatly in the mud room or coat closet. Provide a good welcome mat for people to wipe their feet as buyers sometimes feel awkward about tracking through people’s homes.
Make sure the heating system is in good working order and that the room temperature is kept at a comfortable level. There is nothing worse than having a buyer zip through your home without taking the time to really take a look because it is so cold all they can think of is getting back to the warmth of the car. An unheated home can be colder inside than it is outside! Use weather stripping to seal any drafty doors or windows. Also, check to see that the basement is dry and sealed from any drafts.
Open as many curtains as possible to add light and color to rooms. It is also a good idea to keep spring and summer pictures of your home out on tables and in clear view. Photos of your front yard flowers or the backyard shade tree in full summer bloom can help swing many buyers in favor of a purchase.
Just as you would in warmer weather, take yourself on a tour of your home. Start in the basement and work your way through the house. More than likely you’ll see many previously undiscovered cluttered spaces and needed repairs that can turn off potential buyers. Don’t let something as simple and inexpensive as a missing switch plate make buyers think your home has been poorly maintained.
Winter is a great time to sell your home – make it available – you have less competition and the buyers are serious.