Baby, it’s sold outside

In many states, winter brings inclement weather and overall dreariness to the landscape. Winter is also considered the “slow” season for the real estate industry, as people may not be moving and selling quite as often as during the spring and summer months.

However, buyers during the off-season are often serious and want to move in as quickly as possible, so it can still be a good time to sell. Here are five tips for getting your home in shape and making it as appealing as possible during the winter months:

  1. Light it up.If it’s gray and dreary outside, make your home as bright as you can by opening blinds, shutters and drapes to let in as much natural light as possible. Turn on every light in the house as well, including closet lights and desktop lamps.
  2. Stay warm.Keep your home at a comfortable temperature, and try to warm it up before buyers walk through, so the HVAC doesn’t kick on and create excess noise. If you have a fireplace, light it—just be sure to place a screen in front of it and tend to it regularly.
  3. Create ambiance.A warm and cozy atmosphere is more than just temperature. Make buyers feel welcome by playing soft music, such as classical, light jazz or non-religious holiday music if it’s that time of the year. Offer cups of hot apple cider or cocoa as refreshments. Give the impression that every room is move-in ready by staging them with a specific mood in mind—set the dining room table for a romantic dinner or set up a spa-like experience in the master bathroom.
  4. Keep a clear path.Shovel snow off of the walkway and sidewalk—even while snow is falling—to make sure there’s always a clear path to your home for potential buyers. Also, consider shoveling a path from the street to the sidewalk to ensure they don’t have to dig their way through snowdrifts. Scrape and salt the paths for maximum safety.
  5. Be prepared.If you know you’ll be listing your home during winter, take photos of your home beforehand, so buyers know what the light and landscaping look like in summertime.

This article is brought to you by Jean Hedren, a Certified Residential Specialist

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