How to Sell Your Home in the Cool Seasons
Most people see spring as the prime time to sell real estate. In fact, there are benefits to trying to sell in the cooler seasons like fall and winter. For one thing, you'll only attract serious buyers. For instance, if you host an open house in spring or summer, people who are randomly out and about because of the nice weather might stop by. This won't be an issue when temperatures are cooler. There is also less competition when it's cold out, meaning you may be able to sell quicker. That said, you still have to put in some time and effort into making your home marketable if you’re going to attract top-quality buyers. An open house is one must-do marketing move. The Battle Real Estate Team explains how to prepare for this important event.
Gather the troops
Getting a house ready for sale can take some doing. While you and your partner can tackle this yourself, or turn to pros, it’s worth it to have your children help. They can manage a host of chores like raking leaves, cleaning windows, decluttering and organizing. We know how difficult it can be to rally their interest, so consider starting an allowance to get them on board. If you haven’t been providing an allowance yet, this could be the perfect time. Not only will they have a taste of financial freedom, but this brings with it a new level of responsibility, not to mention a step toward financial literacy.
Tackle the outside first
Staging your home in fall or winter starts with curb appeal—the view people have of your property from the street. First, make sure it's safe. If there's snow and ice on the ground, clear away the slippery stuff. You don't want anyone getting hurt on your property. If there are dead leaves on the ground, clear these away. Add some color to the front of the house and brighten up the bleak winter landscape with a colorful wreath on the door, or some planters of bright cold-weather-friendly blooms like calendulas or pansies. Finally, add a new welcome mat at the door for a fresh appearance.
Eliminate clutter throughout the house
Research shows that clutter actually causes anxiety. This is the last sentiment you want people feeling when they walk into the house. Clear away odds and ends to create clear, well-kept surfaces. Getting rid of extraneous objects will also make the rooms look larger. You can even use this as an opportunity to prepare for the move you will inevitably make once you’ve sold the house. Declutter your house room by room. Donate items you no longer need but are still serviceable to charity.
Create a cozy interior with lighting and aromas
Once you’ve gotten rid of clutter, you don’t want the interior of the home to look too bare. Create a cozy space by adding nice lighting. Use wall-mounted lamps in living areas. They don't take up space like floor lamps, which can make the room look smaller and create a nice ambient glow. In the bedroom, consider adding muted lighting in the form of lanterns hung from the ceiling. Visuals aside, you can also create a cozy space with aromas. Realtors often rely on tricks like baking fresh cookies to make the inside of a house smell appealing. You can achieve a similar effect by serving a seasonal beverage like hot chocolate to visitors: It will warm them up and smell great, too!
Be prepared for last-minute holiday staging
Even with all the above tips, you may find yourself caught off guard when trying to sell real estate during the holiday season. This time of year is very busy, and you never know when a potential buyer might express interest—and want to see the space in person. This can be inconvenient when you're in the midst of holiday festivities, such as preparing a Christmas dinner for a larger group of people. If you find yourself in such a situation, simply do a “mini staging” to make the home presentable. Take out the trash and light some scented candles, open the curtains to let light in, and clear away any dirty dishes in the dishwasher.
With these tips, you should be ready to present your home to any prospective interested parties at any time. While it can be stressful to stage a home during the holiday season, keep the end goal in mind: a lucrative sale. The money you make can be used for a down payment on your new dream home, allowing you to move on (and up) by the time spring arrives.