If rain and the overall gloominess of the season are starting to get to you, you’re likely not thrilled about listing your home for sale in the fall or winter. But that doesn’t mean the listing will fall flat. Here’s how to make your home as appealing as possible, even in the dead of winter.
Know Your Property Values
Though winter tends to be the slowest time of year for home sales, that doesn’t mean you should drop your property’s price. Educate yourself on home pricing trends and comparable houses in your neighborhood—and be prepared to wait it out if buyers aren’t queuing up immediately (homes in Greenville averaged 53 days on the market during the last month).
Don’t Leave Buyers in the Dark
Just because there isn’t snow outside doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of warm lighting indoors. Lighting is always vital for staging your home, but in winter, adding lamps to bedrooms and living areas can make the place feel inviting.
Upgrading kitchen lighting and ensuring that stairways and entrances are well-lit are also crucial. Making sure slippery walkways and stairs don’t harm your potential buyers is a good idea, too.
Make the Exterior Extra Appealing
Dry autumn foliage and peeling paint can make your house look more spooky than spirited. To increase curb appeal, concentrate on small steps like reducing eyesores and adding embellishments.
Lowe’s recommends curb appeal strategies such as using 2 x 4s to conceal your outdoor AC unit and adding easy-install stone veneer to your foundation or stairs. You could also paint the garage or swap out boring hardware for something more elegant.
Go Easy on Holiday Décor
Though the holiday season may be creeping up as you prep your home for sale, don’t go overboard, Madison Mortgage Guys caution. After all, your ideal buyer may not be keen on twinkly lights and pine-scented candles. Go with conservative décor that appeals to the most potential buyers possible. And if your home has one, don’t hesitate to light the fireplace if the weather warrants it.
Consider Soothing Scents
While you may not want to overwhelm buyers’ noses with pumpkin spice or crisp apple, U.S. News reports that blends like citrus, herbs, vanilla, green tea, or pine and cedar are all desirable scents no matter the time of year.
Use Daylight to Your Advantage
Scheduling open houses can be challenging in the colder months. Apart from the threat of rain, you’re also up against fewer hours of daylight. According to Homelight’s research, most people searching for open houses near them (via Google) tend to do so around 9 am to 11 am on Sundays.
Therefore, Sunday afternoons are likely ideal for open houses—and you don’t have to wait until 5 pm or later to draw a crowd.
Don’t Forget Photos from All Seasons
Because most home buyers start their searches online, the photos of your property might be your first (or only) opportunity to draw them in.
And although the year is winding down, that doesn’t mean shoppers will appreciate drab photographs of your house mid-rainstorm. Consider taking photos during more visually appealing seasons—of your pool in summer or the garden in spring—to add to your online listing.
Remove seasonal décor from all photos and add lighting before snapping a dark room. Another brilliant seasonal tip? Take a photograph of your home from a distance—with all the lights on. The dark evenings in fall or winter are ideal for this type of glamorous shot.
Plus, online photos are a driving force for home sales. One study reported that of the folks who searched online for a house for sale, 63 percent felt compelled to do a walk through afterward. That means the images on your listing can draw more potential buyers to your door.
Selling your home so close to the holidays can feel stressful and rushed. But if you play your cards right, you could be in a new home by New Year’s—enjoying the fruits of your property listing labor.