Why sell in winter?
You might think that “waiting for spring” is always the smart thing to do. Sure, there are more buyers out at that time, but there are also more homes for sale! And the buyers who are looking in December are pretty darn serious! Otherwise they’d be out Christmas shopping or sipping eggnog at home!
Here are some ways to make the winter selling season work for you…
Warmer is better.
There’s nothing worse than being out on a chilly winter day with buyers and stepping into a freezing cold house! Contrast that with stepping into a house where the heat is turned up to a welcoming 22 degrees! Chilly buyers don’t linger so they don’t get a chance to “try on the house” to see if it fits well! A cool temperature registers discomfort, and you don’t want buyers associating that word with your property! Have buyers be glad they put your house on the list as soon as they cross the threshold!
Put out the welcome mat.
An inviting mat outside the front door with a seasonal wreath is always welcoming. And make sure you’ve got a good-sized mat inside the door to collect puddles from snowy boots. Help those busy buyers keep their feet dry and cozy. These days it’s a sign of welcome to have some disposable masks handy in case someone forgot theirs at home, and some hand sanitizer as well.
Lighter is brighter.
It’s smart to keep your house well lit. Buyers are assessing your property from the moment they pull up to the curb. Make sure your front steps are well lit, and that light shines out your windows to the street. Put all the lights on for every showing. Don’t make buyers find the switches and turn them on. Now isn’t the time to worry about the electricity bill. You might spend an extra $100 keeping the lights on while you’re for sale, but you’ll be negotiating in $1000’s of dollars when you get an offer. Keep the power bill in perspective.
The snow must go!
Keep your sidewalks clear from the curb to the steps. And don’t forget the side paths and the route to the back lane if you have one. If you’ve got a back lane, shovel the driveway there as well. Allowing the buyers easy access to your whole property is a courtesy they’ll appreciate, and it gives a subtle message to buyers that says “We pay attention to our home.” This kind of attention to detail sets your house apart from the competition. If the property is vacant, all the more reason to keep the sidewalks shoveled. You don’t want to advertise to would-be-thieves that there’s no one home.
Create a magical mood.
Our days are short and our evenings are long. Make the darkness work for you by creating a magical atmosphere in your home. While I don’t suggest you leave candles burning when you’re not home, there are many options for battery operated versions that create a similar ambiance. Create “stars in jars” using wine bottles and simple white lights (easily found at most craft and gift stores around Christmas). Add a pretty poinsettia and a bowl of individually wrapped candy canes at the door and voila, buyers will enter the door with a smile on their face!
Make your price tempting.
This is not the season to “test the market”. Frankly, few markets are really ideal for that! In the winter, you don’t want buyers thinking that they can wait ‘till you reduce the price. You want them walking out saying “This is the best house we’ve seen! I’m worried someone else will snap it up at this price!” You never want to under-price your property, but you do want to price it very close to where it should sell.
Curious about how the winter market could work for you or how showings work during Covid? Please reach out to us anytime at 780.437.2030 or info@SchmidtRealtyGroup.com
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