Tips for Selling a Home in Winter

by Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Inc. on January 10, 2012

Just because the weather outside is dreary, the home selling experience doesn’t have to be. Traditionally, the spring season is known as the time when home buyers are out in full-swing looking to purchase, but winter months can also bring in motivated buyers who are looking for a change and attracted to our market and low interest rates.

Here are five suggestions from Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty on how to take your home from cold, to cozy, to sold:

Keep the Outside Manicured. Don’t let the cold weather dampen your home’s curb appeal. Always keep a clear path from the street or driveway to the front door to ensure home buyers can easily get to the home. To brighten up the outside of a home plant some flowers that are in season in the winter such as Chrysanthemums, Evergreens or Pansies. If it’s raining or snowing, put a rubber mat by the front door and provide a coat rack and bin to easily store jackets and umbrellas while potential buyers enjoy viewing your home.

Focus on Letting in the Light. Since the sun isn’t flowing into your home during the winter as it may during the rest of the year, open up the shutters, raise the blinds and push back the drapes on all the windows in your home to let in as much natural light as possible. Take time to clean your windows both in and out.  Make a point to turn on all the lights, and for rooms that don’t have any windows, consider adding spotlights on the floor behind furniture.

Create a Cozy Mood. Winter is the time of year when you want to cuddle up with loved ones at home, so make your house feel like a winter retreat. Toss throw blankets across the arms of your sofa or chair, place vases of winter flowers around the house or place a breakfast tray on the bed with coffee cups, saucers, napkins, etc. This will give your home an irresistible cozy feel.

Emphasize Sight, Sound, Scent and Taste. For a warm look, give your home a good scrub to make it sparkle for potential buyers and add photographs that showcase the home during the summer with flowers blooming and lush green lawns. Turn on some inviting music, like jazz or classical, that is soothing and will make the potential home buyers feel relaxed during their viewing. Make your home smell warm and inviting with scents of baked goods, such as cookies or apple pie. A light scented candle may be a good choice. Avoid strong scents from sprays or plug in air fresheners because many people are allergic. For an open house consider serving comforting winter foods and beverages to give viewers a taste of home.

Check all Home Heating Systems. Depending on the length of time that the furnace or heating system has been installed in the home, consider providing a history of service and having an inspector check to ensure it is working properly. Make sure basement pipes are insulated or wrapped, especially those on outside walls. Finally, to ensure the fireplace does not cool off other parts of the house make sure there is a vent on the outside wall and that there are glass doors in front of it. All of these extra inspections will provide reassurance to prospective buyers that the home can stand up to the harsh cold of winter.

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