The pace of home sales might cool off during winter, but the market doesn’t freeze up completely.
Believe it or not, despite some of the challenges of selling a home during the winter months, this time of year does have its share of advantages.
To start with, there are usually fewer homes listed during winter; the lower supply of homes means your listing can stand out and get more attention. Plus, winter buyers tend to be serious about finding a home – they often find themselves shopping in the winter because they need to move for a new job, family reasons, or other life events. So, what can you do to increase the chances of a successful winter sale?
Here are a few common-sense tips that can make a difference.
- Keep the home accessible: Clear the driveway and shovel those walkways – make it easy for buyers to get to the door!
- Does the house have a deck or patio area? Make sure it’s clear of snow so buyers can see it better.
- Make things green by sprucing up the entry way with seasonal plants. And if you have evergreens or shrubs outside, shake off the snow so they’re more visible.
- The more light, the better. Open curtains to let in natural light and leave the lights on when a potential buyer comes to visit.
- Keep the windows clean. South-facing windows are especially important because so much sunlight comes in from that direction.
- Warm things up, literally. If the house a gas fireplace, turn it on. And you don’t want the house feeling cold, so turn the thermostat up a degree or two.
- Set out some pictures showing what the house and yard look like in warmer seasons.
Overall, remember to think about Spring. In Minnesota, the “spring” market really gets started in February as buyers think about moving in April and May. Getting your house listed in January can put you ahead of the competition.