Selling Your Home in Winter
This post originally appeared in IndyStar magazine. The original can be found here.
Thinking about selling this winter? IndyStar has some tips for how to get around the challenges of selling in this sometimes dreary season.
1. Keep pathways clear.
Winter brings snow … wet, slushy, icy snow. When your home is listed for sale, you never know when a real estate agent may request a showing with a potential buyer. For this reason you’ll want to keep walkways and driveways shoveled and salted at all times. Having a clean pathway into your property is welcoming, sets a good first impression and increases safety.
2. Decorate and light for winter.
While you can’t show off lush green grass and well-manicured flower beds in winter, you have plenty of ways to make your home’s exterior appealing. Hang a welcoming wreath on the front door, for example. Use uplighting to highlight your home’s best features or brighten up the yard when the sky is gray and the sun sets early. Consider using potted greenery on the porch for a splash of color.
3. Set the stage for a good first impression.
Even with the inventory of for-sale homes at its lowest point, you still need to keep your home in show-ready condition at all times. Of course, that’s never easy when you’re living there. As a solution, declutter thoroughly and stash your stuff in a rented storage space. Keep floors clean, promptly mopping up tracks of salty slush.
Patrick Wilkins, manager of Carpenter Realtor’s South Meridian office, said vigilance is essential in making a good first impression.
“Most buyers who brave the cold weather during the winter months are very serious about locating a home, so sellers need to remain vigilant to have their homes perfectly show ready in short order,” he said.
4. Offer incentives to buyers.
One technique to put your home above the rest anytime is to offer incentives to potential buyers. To put them at ease, conduct a home inspection ahead of the sale and show a list of the repairs you’ve already made. Offer a home warranty or agree to pay some the closing costs.
“Offering a gift card to a home improvement store is another great incentive for a do-it-yourself buyer,” Wilkins said.
5. Price your home right.
Setting your home’s listing price can be challenging and even contentious. In winter, when inventory and active buyers are out in lower numbers, Englert recommends listing at a fair market value for positive results.
“Even with lower inventory in the winter, price your home correctly to generate a lot of interest early on,” she said. “No matter what time of year it is, overpriced homes stagnate and tend to sell for less. Pricing a home at fair market value could result in multiple offers and even lead to a bidding war.”