Want to sell your home in the winter? You’ll need to ready it for the weather ahead, and also keep it looking beautiful and appealing to potential buyers. Here are some prep steps to get your home ready to sell in the dreary winter months:
1. Do a Deep Clean
Give your house a thorough cleaning before you open it up to potential buyers. Wipe footprints from snowy or muddy shoes, clean the carpets, dust all surfaces, and remove any moisture or debris that comes in with the wind. If you’re pressed for time, hire a weekly cleaning service to help with the upkeep.
2. Cut the Clutter
Clutter creates a sense of chaos, and chaos does not sell houses. Organize your space and trash or donate any clothing, appliances, trinkets and other items you no longer use. (You’ll be glad you did this when it comes time to move.)
3. Remove Personal Effects
With buyers in mind, move personal items like family photos and children’s drawings into storage. When potential buyers walk through your home, they should get the feeling that they could make it their own. If your personal stuff is strewn about in every room, it will detract from that feeling. In fact, they may feel more like they’re invading your privacy.
4. Light it Up
With the sun setting sooner and gray overtaking the sky, your home could begin to look dreary. Use lighting to brighten your home’s interior and exterior, and consider adding a timer or more lighting where necessary.
5. Fix the Small Problems
If there are small issues with your home that could detract from its value, fix them. If you don’t have time or the experience to do the jobs yourself, hire a handyman or contractor.
6. Cook Something for the Season
Real estate agents help buyers feel welcome by putting out cookies. In the winter months, consider filling your home with the scents of hot apple cider, hot cocoa or pots with simmered cinnamon and orange peels.
7. Deal With the Exterior
The appearance of your home’s exterior is just as important as the appearance of its interior when it comes to selling. To prepare your exterior for the winter weather, you will need to:
- Trim trees and shrubs
- Shovel snow off the driveway and walkway
- Deal with any patches of ice that could cause injury
8. Utilize Holiday Decorations
Depending on when you’re selling, think about adding tasteful holiday decorations to the living room and kitchen. For Thanksgiving, maybe a nice centerpiece on the dining room table. For Christmas, maybe a tree (preferably fake) or some holiday lights.
9. Show Off Winter-Friendly Spaces
Since buyers could be spending many months indoors after their move, show them which rooms in your home are the most comfortable. Basements, exercise rooms, home theater rooms — these all look cozier in the winter. Ask your realtor to mention these rooms and their benefits during the walkthrough if needed.
10. Keep it Warm
Make sure buyers aren’t shivering as they walk through your home. Turn the heater up or put it on a timer. Start a welcoming fire in the living room if you have a fireplace. And, if your HVAC is in need of repairs, hire a heating contractor to ensure that things are working properly.