It may not be your first impulse to list your home in winter, but life events can sometimes dictate timing on when moves must happen. Knowing how to best show off your home to its full advantage can pay even bigger dividends in the winter, when daylight hours run short, temperatures drop, and the usual rules may not apply.
If you were selling your house in the summer or spring, you’d likely address any cosmetic concerns as part of the staging process. The same attention to detail is important in the winter.
Keep up the curb appeal
Curb appeal has a different meaning in winter weather, but the same basic principles apply: tidying the exterior and clearing driveways and walkways are essential. Carpet should be recently cleaned and in good repair — and now’s the time to embark on a mission to make your home clutter-free by removing photographs and knickknacks.
For your home to look its best during a winter viewing, it should feel both welcoming and warm. Consider removing some window treatments to allow windows to shine at their full size. If showing your home during daylight hours, open all your remaining draperies or blinds to maximize light; during evening hours, you can choose a pleasant combination of reduced overhead, floor, and table lamps, which can impart a warm and comforting glow throughout all the rooms you’ll be showing.
Highlight winterized features
On the flip side, emphasizing features that make your property a smart winter buy can also help seal the deal after your home passes the charm test. Your home can be more attractive to winter buyers with features like an attached and enclosed garage, a new water heater or HVAC components, or skylights or other energy-efficient upgrades. Winter buyers want to be confident that their new property will be well winterized for the immediate months ahead.
Show all seasons
Take advantage of the opportunity to display your home’s charm by providing a photo portfolio with your listing — or even laying out a photo album of your home — and be sure to include pictures from all seasons.
No matter how you choose to make your home more sellable, stay within your budget. You won’t want to blemish your credit picture right in the middle of making a move — one of the major life events when you’ll want your credit in tiptop shape.