It's a whole lot easier to enhance the beauty of your home when you're trying to sell it during the warmer months. After all, who doesn't love rolling lawns, open windows, and thriving gardens? But when the snow starts falling and wind whips at your skin, it can be quite the challenge to show how wonderful your property is to prospective buyers. Here's our guide to selling your home during the winter:
Showcase All the Seasons, if You Can
You want prospective buyers to be able to envision the home as their own, says Sumant Sridharan, COO of HomeLight, a real estate web platform. Include a photo album in your home's listing highlighting what the property looks like during the spring and summer. Include the lush landscaping and curb appeal, as well as a swimming pool and garden if you have one. It's also a good idea to snap a photo of the morning light in the spring. "Showing the house throughout the seasons will help prospective buyers see a future in the home, not just how it looks as they're standing in it," says Sridharan.
Pull Data on Your Location's Weather
Go a step further than snapping a few pics by using actual data to boost your home's attractiveness. The National Centers for Environmental Information's Climate at a Glance tool gives hard evidence to prospective buyers regarding what your home is like during other seasons. "Really drive the point home that, for example, despite the blizzard outside, it really is beautiful in Boston in the summertime and the buyer should pay a little more for the house with the patio because they'll get plenty of use out of it," says Sridharan. You can really hammer in your point by calculating hours of sunshine and precipitation, which is particularly helpful for buyers that are new to area.
Play Around with Lighting
Nobody wants their home to feel like a dark cave. But when the sun sets earlier during the winter months, a home can look a lot smaller. Sridharan suggests playing around with light bulbs that give off a cozy, yet bright glow and enhance the home's color palette. Stick to a warm or soft white bulb. Also, emphasize your fireplace in a seasonally appropriate manner. For outdoor areas, consider motion censored lights so your back patio doesn't look creepy.
Go Light on the Seasonal Decor
Time to stash away your large collection of holiday Hummel dolls. While you can feel free to hang a wreath or garland, don't go overboard with the holiday cheer. A little touch of the season is nice, but you don't want your heavy decor to be what makes your property memorable. Plus, prospective buyers aren't looking to recreate your memories — they want their own. "It's important for buyers to envision how they would build their own holiday memories in the home, and not feel like you're imposing your own memories or holiday traditions on those viewing the property," says Sridharan.
A Little Staging Goes a Long Way
It may be pricey, but having your home professionally staged is generally worth the hefty bill. "Many home sellers are emotionally attached to the colors, fabrics and decor in their home, which can create blinders when trying to understand what buyers are looking for, or what the rest of the homes on the market look like," says Sridharan. Of course, if there's any hire that matters most, it's finding the best possible agent for your needs, says Sridharan. "It takes the pressure off of you so that you can have a low-stress home-selling experience and spend the holidays enjoying time with friends and family."