Here we are again, Thanksgiving is just days away, and apparently so is some snow. Well, not until next Tuesday, so relax, it will be fairly balmy this week. As you all know, the winter-like weather is imminent, and it seems like it lasts about half the year. I remember a few winters ago we had a snowfall in early May. April showers did not bring May flowers that year. It was cold and ugly for six months straight. So with half the year dedicated to dead foliage and frigid temps, a homeowner could use a few tips on how to sell their home during the winter months. Like I discussed in a previous blog, for some, the winter months are the right time to sell. So here are some tips for selling your home during the winter:
1. Shovel with a Dash of Salt:
Nothing says home to a buyer like walking up a driveway, slipping and falling before they even get in the house . Let your potential homebuyers get off on a good foot, not off the ground on one. Be absolutely certain that your driveways and walkways are free of snow and ice. If you don’t have time to do it yourself, pay for a service. Here are just a few that serve the local Hudson area:
2. Let There Be Light:
Since the days are short and the sun goes down late afternoon during the winter months, it’s important to make sure your home is getting as much light as possible. Make sure all your bulbs are nice and bright, keep your drapes, shades, and blinds open to allow as much natural light into the home as possible. One of the positives of the holiday season and the glistening snow is utilizing outdoor lights to bring an extra sparkle to your home. Be sure that pathway lights are bright and working, and set them to a timer if possible to ensure that potential homebuyers driving through the neighborhood when you’re not home get a good impression. Keep holiday lights crisp and clean. Festive is good, but distracting is not.
3. Wash Your Windows:
Thanks to the snow, the sunlight reflects up on your windows more than ever. This means it’s a lot easier for people to see how clean, or not clean they are. Since trees and foliage are dead, potential homebuyers may be able to get more of a view of your property than they would normally see in spring or summer. If you have a nice view, or perhaps waterfront property that you’d like to showcase, let the buyers see the view, not the gunk on your windows.
4. Crank Up The Heat!:
You want your home to be a comfortable refuge from the frigid cold. If buyers walk in to a cozy, comfortable home, they will stay longer. When you know buyers are coming, turn the thermostat up a few degrees or your gas fireplace if you have one.
5. Set the Mood:
If you set the mood right, your home can feel like a cozy escape from the sterile, cold, winter weather outside. Take advantage of the holiday season, and decorate your home seasonally to make it festive and inviting. Wreaths, candles, lights, and dried arrangements can add a lot of warmth and appeal to your home. Play classical music softly in the background, set your table as if guests were coming. Perhaps bake some cookies, or a pie to give a nice aroma to the home. Do not however use the plug in candles, or overdo it on scented aromas or potpourri, because homebuyers may not like the scents you choose, or they may wonder if you’re trying to mask a bad smell in your home.
6. Keep Your Buyers Nose Happy:
Seriously, I can’t emphasize this one enough. There is nothing more off-putting then walking in to a smelly home. Pet smells, smoke, or musty odors are big turn offs. Sometimes it’s hard to keep these smells out of the home during winter since you can’t open up the windows and get some fresh air in. If you have buyers coming, don’t leave musty snowsuits, boots, and wet winter gear to dry. It smells bad and can be a major turnoff. Clean your carpets, drapes, and rugs to make sure your home smells nice. Don’t rely on your own nose. Homeowners can become “immune” to the smells in their home. Get an honest opinion from your agent or friend who does not live in your home.
7. Help Buyers Keep Your Home Clean:
It’s a great idea, especially during the winter months to have a sign asking buyers to take their shoes off, or put on paper booties that you provide before touring the house. You’ve done the do-diligence to make your home look its best for buyers, don’t let them ruin it! Most people have dirt, sand, slush, and salt from the winter weather that can be easily tracked in to your home. Don’t feel like this may be an annoyance to the buyers. It will show them that you take pride in maintaining and caring for your home. That’s the kind of house they want to move into, one that has been well cared for.
Those are just a few tips to help sell your home during the winter months. As I discussed last week, serious buyers are still out there during the winter months taking advantage of low interest rates. So if you’re ready to sell your home, less inventory can mean a better chance for your home to shine, even during the winter months. . So far in Hudson there are 20 new listings and 14 sold listings in November alone. Until next time, feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the local Hudson market.
I have been involved in real estate for nearly 20 years working as an assistant, hostess, closer, accounting and now licensed REALTOR for over 13 years. I serve the St. Croix Valley including: Lakeland, Afton, Stillwater, Woodbury, Hudson, Roberts, Hammond, Baldwin, Spring Valley, New Richmond, Somerset, River Falls, and Prescott. Contact me at realestatewimn.com.