Top 7 Budget-Friendly Tips for Selling your Home in Winter

Winter is on its way! If you’re thinking of selling your home during the winter months, you may have to work a little harder but it can certainly be done! Yet if you need to sell in winter, there are actually quite a few advantages.

For starters, there is always less competition in the winter months because most sellers opt to put their homes on the market during the warmer months instead. This means that there will be fewer houses on the market, driving up demand amongst buyers for your home.Selling your home in the winter is likely to get more attention from potential buyers.

Here at DSEAYCOM, we would like to help you in selling your home during the winter.Follow these tips to help improve your selling success during the colder months:

1.       Start with the exterior

When it comes to selling your home, your first impression will come from the exterior of the property. If your home looks chilly and uninviting, chances are buyers will overlook it. No one wants to go out into the cold to see a dark home!

To improve your home’s curb appeal, clear all exterior pathways of snow and ice so buyers can easily access them. Nothing will turn away potential buyers faster than a treacherous, icy path. Sprinkle a layer of sand over the sidewalk and steps to clear the ice and open a path from the street to the sidewalk so visitors aren't forced to crawl over snowdrifts.

Provide as much off-street (snow-cleared) parking as you can to make things easy for visitors. Ensure that the walkway is shoveled and ice-free before every showing; not only is this a courtesy and crucial to making the home look well-maintained, but if a visitor slips and is hurt, you could be liable for damages.

Quick Tip: Make sure that shrubs and tree-branches bent down with snow don’t obstruct walkways or entrances; brush the snow off or prune if necessary.

2.       Protect the floors

If it's raining or snowing, put a rubber mat or container by the front door to hold wet umbrellas and boots. You might also invest in a few pairs of comfy one-size-fits-all slippers for visitors to wear while they view your home.If you’d like, you can also put a polite sign at the front door, asking buyers to remove their shoes when they enter the home, to protect carpets.

This shows buyers that you care about protecting your home, which can be a bonus to those who rank cleanliness high on their list of positive attributes. It also helps to draw attention to your flooring, which is helpful if you’ve just installed new carpeting or floorboards.

3.       Use lighting to your advantage

Make sure your home is well-lit when selling your home. On dark winter days, you may not have as much natural lighting as you would prefer, so you’ll want to make the most of artificial light. Turn on all of your lamps and lighting fixtures including appliance lights and closet lights to banish dark corners from the home and give the place a cozy glow. Make sure all of your bulbs are working to show off your home at its best.

Snow and gray skies make for a gloomy impression when selling a home in winter, but a good real estate agent may know of other ways to show off your property’s specific features to make sure that selling your home is a success. It’s a good idea to use the “Contact Us” tab at DSEAYCOM to find an expert in your area.

4.       Turn up the heat

Once a prospective buyer comes inside, remember that you may have only 10 to 15 minutes to make a lasting impression—all the window-dressing and staging in the world won’t entice buyers to linger inside a home that’s freezing.

Pump up that thermostat and heat the house a degree or two warmer than usual and then set the temperature at normal. The warmth will help put buyers at ease, and will help erase any doubts about whether or not the heating system works. However, take care not to turn it up too high. Make sure that your home is well-heated while viewings are taking place and allow time for the house to warm up. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, light a fire and let it glow during the showing.

Quick Tip:  Buyers will also be interested in how well the heating system works, so if you have a particularly cold room it could be worth ensuring it is better insulated during the winter chill. No fire? Offer warm beverages or home-made cakes instead.

5.       Use winter staging tricks

Home staging in the winter will need to be conducted with the ultimate goal of creating an atmosphere of comfort and warmth when selling your home. Thick blankets can be used on couches and in the bedroom to create a cozy feeling, making buyers want to snuggle up in your home. A folded throw draped over the back of an armchair, a plump quilt at the foot of the bed or an area rug in warm hues are a few small additions that will make a big difference in the way a room feels to prospective buyers.

De-cluttering and depersonalizing is essential when selling your home. Put away family photographs so that buyers can see themselves living in the home. Display pictures that show what the property looks like when the temperature is warmer, like the garden in full bloom or the backyard in the summertime. This will help buyers visualize what the house is like throughout the year.

For more staging tips, you might also want to check out 5 Secrets to Home Staging.

6.       Emphasize spaces that will appeal in winter

For added interest, showcase the entertaining possibilities in your home. Basement playrooms, indoor exercise areas, heated tool sheds and the like will be especially welcome in a place with a cold winter. Remove any unrelated junk to make the purpose of the room clear, and be sure to have your agent bring it up when showing the house to potential buyers.

Show how outdoor rooms can be used even in the coldest months. If you have a covered porch or outdoor fireplace, be sure to keep the area fully-furnished. Turn on outdoor lights and drape a few thick throws over your outdoor furniture.

7.       Schedule a Tune-Up 

Winter buyers will be tedious when it comes to issues related to heating and maintenance. Fix issues like leaking roof tiles or gutters to prevent water running down the walls of your property during inspection. Leaky faucets or chipped fixtures should also be replaced. Get your furnace, HVAC, and roof inspected, and make any necessary repairs. Other outdoor tasks can include cleaning the gutters, changing the air filters, and weather-stripping the windows.

It actually pays to list in the winter, when buyers tend to have more urgency and people tend to make life changing decisions in the New Year. It’s a good idea to consult with your real estate agent to see how you can make the most of selling your home in the winter. Find an experienced agent by contacting us at DSEAYCOM.

Although selling your home during the cold season can be a bit challenging, here atDSEAYCOM we are experienced in selling properties in any season, and have some additional tips that pertain to your specific situation. You can find the right agent to represent your needs by calling us at DSEAYCOM.

At DSEAYCOM, we’re happy to answer any questions you have about buying and selling your homein the Tuscaloosa & Birmingham area, and we’ve now expanded to the Birmingham, Alabama area as well! Call us now or feel free to share our contact information with someone you know that needs expert help buying or selling their home.

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Derrick Seay
Derrick Seay
DSEAYCOM B'ham Branch