It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, there will always be someone who needs to buy a home and someone who needs to sell a home. Winter can actually be one of the best times to list your home for sale. Typically, the housing inventory is at it’s lowest during the winter months, which means that the buyers who are out shopping have a very limited amount of choices. And although there may be less choices, it is still critical for your home to stand apart from the rest. Below are five quick tips to help your home stand out (for all the right reasons) in the winter.
1. One of the most neglected areas of a home during the cold and dreary winter months is the outdoor living and entertaining space. A typical homeowner will put the patio furniture in storage, turn off the lights, and forget about it until spring; however, if you’re trying to sell your home, buyers are going to want to envision how the home might be used in the warmer months. Perhaps consider staging the yard with patio furniture, a firepit, heat lamps, spot lights on the front of your home, or sidewalk lighting. Fun and bright colors may also living up a bland outdoor space.
2. While focusing on the outdoor appearance, it’s also important to continue knocking out yard work as needed. Raking leaves or using a leaf blower to clear out large spaces can have the biggest impact on a property riddled with trees. Walking around your home and removing any fallen brush, cleaning out the gutters, and trimming down all the blossomed flowers that have died also will increase your curb appeal in the winter. Whether it’s spring or winter, your yard is always one of the first impressions so make it a great one.
3. The combination of the winter solstice and daylight savings time tends to create more home searches that take place in the dark. One of the most popular attributes that buyers often seek is light, bright rooms. (Therein lies the difficulty of selling your home in the winter). One of the best tips for selling is to have plenty of light in your room, and have the lights on and ready for showings. You might even consider adding extra lights to bedrooms; extra bedside lamps, extra floor lamps, adding a light kit onto a ceiling fan, or even installing recessed lighting in darker rooms. When you add lights, it’s also important to make sure that all your light bulbs are the same color temperature; soft white, bright white, or daylight.
4. Lights can add warmth to a home but there are a few other things you can do to make your home feel cozy. Perhaps the most obvious is to keep your house at a warm temperature. You also could put a slow cooked cider on the stove, perhaps even layout some mugs and an inviting note. Throw blankets, strategically placed, can pop some color into a room while also softening the decor. Leaving your gas fireplace on is also a nice touch. Think about some of the comforts that make you warm and cozy and try to include those into the marketing of your home.
5. The last tip about selling your home in the winter is to breathe some life into the home by adding some flowers and plant life (where appropriate). There are several hardy house plants that’ll survive in the winter and bring fresh air into your home. Succulents are the perfect indoor plant for those that lack a green thumb, and they require little watering. Christmas cactus, jade plant, aloe, and snake plant are just a few good options. English ivy, rubber tree, and hibiscus are also some great options to add color variations to an interior decor. Instead of purchasing fresh flowers to put in a vase before a showing, purchase an orchid for the same price. It will last three times as long. Plants used in moderation will add a great pop of life into the room, and bring out positive feelings of nostalgia for spring.
Trends in the real estate market are constantly changing. These trends vary each year, each month, and each season. As a home seller, it’s your job to make your home appeal to the mass market according to current standards. At the same time, you want your home to stand out from the rest of the homes for all the right reasons. In the winter, it’s easy to let some things slide; however, if you take these five tips into consideration your home will present better and get you one step closer to getting your home sold! If you need help, as always, be sure to ask a real estate professional. Homes.com has a good list of realtors to use as your starting point.