There’s this idea out there that selling your home in the winter time is a bad idea. You know – people don’t like going out in the cold, all the flaws will show up, there are fewer buyers around. And while some of these things are true, winter can actually be a great time to sell your home.
For a start, people shift houses all year round – people don’t get new jobs or move cities only in the summer. There will always be buyers, but in winter there are fewer houses on the market so there’s less competition.
With interest rates as low as they are this year, there are likely to be even more potential buyers out there wanting to take advantage of the low rates.
And while winter can show up the flaws, it can also be great opportunity to show how warm, cosy and inviting your home is. Yes, winter buyers are savvy – they’ll be on the look-out for dampness, lack of sun, and other issue that show up in winter. But there are ways to overcome these challenges.
If they love it in the winter – they’ll love it twice as much in the summer.
The first thing you can do is make a good impression. As I’ve said before, the way your house looks when they first arrive is very important. Little things can go along way, like being able to see the house number clearly or outside lights working.
Other things you can do is wash the outside of the house to make it look newer, and water-blast paths to keep them from being slippery. Make sure the gutters are clean too – this will stop water overflowing in heavy rain.
To stop people standing in the rain trying to get a gate open, make sure latches and hinges are clean and oiled. And you can also paint the treads of stairs with a white strip so people don’t trip.
Warm and cosy on the inside
Present your home as a refuge from the winter outside. Keep it warm and inviting – put on some coffee or do some baking to add good smells. You can put a welcome mat down for them to wipe their feet, a brolly stand and a place for their coats.
Keeping the lights on will help make your home bright and cheerful, as will clean windows with no condensation. And if a room looks out on to a fence or a wall, just close the curtains.
Remember to keep clutter to a minimum and empty rubbish bins regularly.
Put some colour around the house, inside and out with flowers and potted plants. You can make it even more inviting by choosing a scented plant like daphne or lavender.
Make sure paths and the entrances to the house are clear and keep the lawns and gardens mowed and weeded. And if you have pictures of you enjoying your home in summer, have them out for buyers to look at – it’ll act as proof that your home will be even better when the sun’s out.
The best way to make your home cosy and inviting is to think about what you would like to see when arriving at a new home. What makes you feel safe and warm? Do this and the rest will follow.