While the spring and fall bring out the most sellers, the winter can be a great time to showcase your home. Due to life changes, we can’t always plan ahead to sell during peak buying times but selling your house in the winter can have some distinct advantages.
Buyers are always looking and often have more urgency in the winter. These buyers tend to be highly motivated, pre-approved and educated on the market. They know what they are looking for and can make quick decisions to work with the seller’s requirements. The transaction can also be a bit less stressful as there is less of a chance of multiple offers. This gives sellers time to really look at an offer and not get caught up in the race that’s caused by competition. Being able to accept a good offer that will close is the goal and will likely happen if everyone is focused and calm. It could also go the other way if your house is very desirable. Less inventory will equal more attention and your house could sell quick.
Selling in the winter can also ease the schedule of showing your home. Less daylight means that buyers will view your house during reasonable hours as opposed to eight o’clock at night. This can help greatly if you have children in the house. There are also fewer showings, due to a smaller pool of buyers, so your day-to-day life will be less affected. And there are fewer ‘window shoppers’ in the winter so the potential buyers that come through are usually serious.
Here are some tips for selling in the winter:
- Keep entranceways clean. A clean and clutter free house will sell easier. This can be hard in the winter due to salt and snow and increased gear such as boots and coats. Keep it hidden away and make sure to give your entryway floors a quick mop before leaving.
- If you have a nice fireplace use it! A warm crackling fire really helps give the feeling of comfort and coziness that buyers are attracted to.
- Showcase your homes entertainment factor. Winter is the time for festive parties and family get-togethers. Stage your home as if there is a party about to start, especially in your dining room or wet bar area.
- Clear snow and ice from exterior walkways. I can’t stress this enough as it is a big turnoff for buyers to show up at your house and have to trudge through snow or navigate ice to get into the house. If you have a pathway to the backyard or a side door clear that off as well.
- Showcase outdoor spaces. If you have a nice patio, covered porch or outdoor fireplace/pit showcase it! Stage it with furniture, planters and warm blankets. Let the potential buyers get a picture of what their outdoor living will be like in the warmer months.
- Emphasise all of the spaces in your house. If you have a finished basement or a heated workshop stage it like you would the main level of your house. With increased time spent indoors during the winter, it’s important to show buyers all the usable space in your house.
- Decorate! Wreaths, urns and twinkly lights, and pops of colour are all welcome during the winter to help create a warm and cozy feeling. Help the buyers envision themselves living there. But don’t go overboard; you’re selling your house not the holidays or your decorations!
- Turn the heat up before a showing. Frugality is great but you want to make sure your house is warm and welcoming. It also helps give the impression your house is well-insulated and energy efficient. Remove any draft stoppers you have. Let the buyers make their own discoveries in the inspection process.
The winter is a great time to sell your house in Guelph. There are always active buyers and the investment market really heats up in the new year. As always, work with a local Realtor who knows the market and can give you the best advice to help you sell your home.