According to Time Magazine, January is the best month to purchase a home. This is because there are simply fewer buyers willing to brave the cold weather, which also helps drive the prices of homes down. Unfortunately, if you're the one trying to sell your house during the winter, you might get frustrated at the lack of potential buyers, and may even consider accepting a lower offer than you could secure in the warmer months. If you're faced with selling your home during the winter, here are a few tips to help you attract buyers and get top dollar for your house:
Give Homebuyers An Incentive to Leave Their House
During the warmer months, you might enjoy a steady stream of interested homebuyers. Unfortunately, when it is snowing or several degrees below zero, it will take more to get buyers to set foot in your home.
There are many inexpensive incentives that you can offer potential buyers. For example, ask your real estate agent to let potential buyers know that you're serving a winter-themed buffet during your next open house.
Decorating your home with over-the-top Christmas decorations will also entice people to drive past your home. Don't hesitate to place several "For Sale" signs on your front yard to let these buyers know that your amazingly-decorated home is also for sale!
Make It Feel Like Spring In Your Home
To survive winter, and to keep the electric bills lower, many homeowners keep the blinds closed and the thermostat turned down. This might be an economically-savvy strategy, but its not going to impress potential buyers.
Instead, here are a few easy ways you can make your home feel like it is Spring:
Turn up the heat approximately 30 minutes before potential buyers enter. A warm house is more bright and hospitable.
Open the drapes and clean your windows. Clean windows are not only more appealing, they also let more light into your home. If it is overcast outside, turn on several lights in your home to make it seem brighter.
Fill several vases with freshly-cut flowers. If flowers are a little pricey, or you can't find any at all, use artificial flowers that are associated with spring—such as orchids, narcissus, lilacs and cherry blossoms.
Skip the candles and other scents that remind buyers of winter or the holidays—such as cinnamon and pine—and instead, choose scents that make you think of warmer temperatures. For example, light a candle that smells like an ocean breeze, or bake some lemon bars.
Keep Your Sidewalk and Walkways Clear At All Times
Keeping your sidewalks and walkways clear of snow and ice can be tricky. If you've let this chore slide in the past, it is important to remain more vigilant while you're trying to sell your home.
Additionally, it is important to go a step further if you're hosting an open house or if a buyer is scheduled to visit. For example, sprinkle ice melt on your sidewalks and walkways a few minutes before the scheduled visit.
Remember, it also gets darker a lot earlier in the winter. Installing walkway lighting or fitting an additional outdoor fixture near the front door will help ensure buyers are able to easily and safely make it into your home.
Selling your home during the winter can be a little more difficult, but it is not impossible. Changing your home's mood, turning up the heat and making sure your path is clear of ice and snow are a few of the simple ways you can help make your home more enticing to potential buyers. Talk to a full service real estate agent near you for more tips.