Selling or buying a home in the winter time seems counterintuitive to many of us. Everything seems to slow down during the colder months. Roads are made slippery with snow, animals go into hibernation, and humans spend their long evenings indoors having Netflix marathons. It seems only natural that houses would not sell as well in the winter.

However, recent data shows that homes listed between December 21 and March 21 are the most likely to sell within six months. On average, homes listed during those three months are on the market for 26 days compared with 32 days for spring and summer, and 34 days for fall.

In pre-internet times, when people had to commute to see a home, it may have been more difficult to sell your house when the days are shorter and temperature colder. However, now that countless homes are just a click away, it has become much easier to shop for your dream home during the winter.

Benefits of Selling a House in the Winter Time

Now that we’ve talked about the data, let’s discuss some of the other reasons you might want to sell a home during the winter.
  1. Easy curb appeal.  Depending on where you live in the U.S., you might benefit from not having to put too much extra effort into landscaping. The grass won’t need to be mowed as frequently and you don’t have to worry about caring for flowering plants. Plus, if you live in a place where it snows, having a home that looks warm and cozy covered in snow adds a lot of free curb appeal.

  2. Less competition. Since most people assume they shouldn’t list their home in the winter, that means you’ll have fewer houses to compete with on online listings.

  3. Necessity. Most people don’t choose to move in the winter. It can be difficult to commute and move boxes in the cold, and dealing with utilities can be harder. Some people are relocated by their jobs to start the new year in a new location. Others may need to find a home quickly for others reasons. Either way, a buyer’s short timeline is another incentive for them to buy your home now.

How to Prepare a Home for Sale in the Winter

  1. Handle the heating issues. You’ll want to make sure your heating system is in great working condition and that the thermostat is set to a comfortable temperature when potential buyers come to view the home.

  2. Show diverse photos. Show off your home in all different conditions online. Someone may come visit your home in the winter but they’ll want to know what it looks like during a sunny, summer afternoon as well.

  3. Make your home seem easy to live in. Winter hardships like shoveling snow, clearing roofs, cleaning furnaces or pellet stoves, or removing salt marks and melted ice from your floors all can make a home seem less desirable to potential buyers. To avoid making a bad impression, take care of all of these problems beforehand.

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OK – So its winter! Do not target your intentions on the time of year. Focus your efforts on the home buying market. For sellers of homes and land, winter may be the ideal time of the year to list your property for sale. A misconception by sellers that winter is a bad time to put your home on the market results in low inventories and less completion for sellers.

Choose A Realtor

List your home for sale with an experienced and reputable licensed Realtor that will expansively promote your property via the Internet as well as traditional marketing modalities such as an open house, or newspaper adds. Ask if you Realtor advertise your listing through social media, e-mails or newsletters. You will want to choose a Realtor than will provide you with exposure on multiple websites, forums, and social media platforms. Don’t just assume that your home will be promoted or featured. Work with a Realtor that will design a detailed proposal of how your home will be marketed.

Use Current Photos

When selling in winter, arrange with your realtor to schedule a shoot on a sunny morning, ideally after a fresh snowfall. Fresh snow can make the landscape appear bright and cheerful rather than dull and dreary. The photographer, by incorporating fresh snow, blue skies, clouds and greenery can showcase your home to its best advantage. Work with your realtor to ensure that all marketing shows are changed frequently to appear new and fresh and that all photos are updated for the current season and do not appear tired and dated.

Looking Good

Keep all sidewalks and driveways shoveled and free of snow and ice. Keep the front porch free of newspapers, shovels, boots or clutter. Make sure the entry way is clear and provides easy access. The home should always look clean and well maintained. If you have any small repairs that have not been addressed, fix them before putting the house on the market.

Ask your Realtor to do a walk through the house with you and make suggestions and impartial observations. Your realtor’s experience with buyer’s concerns will alert him or her to potential problems you may not recognize or have noticed.

Depersonalize The Property

As an example, the hot pink wall and the lime green shag rug in the bathroom look dated and have to go. Often a whole house de-cluttering is to remove the seller’s personality from the property. If your photos, sports memorabilia, photos, and musical instruments are strung about, it is virtually impossible for a potential buyer to visualize his or her stuff in its place.

Keep Your Home Warm And Cozy

If your home is to be viewed by potential buyers, now is not the time to turn down the thermostat to save on energy costs. Especially when cold winter winds are blowing, you want visitors to step inside to an embracing warm rather than a chilly draft. Having the home warm and inviting give buyers a reason to linger.

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