Many homeowners think that spring is the best time to sell their home, but there are definitely some great advantages to putting up that sold sign when the snow is blowing!
Selling your house in the winter
- Winter months are historically slow months for listings. That's a big plus for winter home sellers because there is simply less competition.
- There are fewer tire kickers when the temperatures are dropping and the snow is blowing. Yes, those casual house hunters, nosey neighbors and professional open house goers just don't find it worth their while to venture out of their cozy domain in the winter. Most people looking at homes in the winter are serious and motivated buyers.
- Homes in the winter have the added benefit of warmth. Believe it or not, a warm home makes home buyers feel much more comfortable, even if the home is vacant. When the snow's blowing outside and the temperatures are the worse that the Polar Vortex can send, Buyers will feel comforted and welcomed as soon as they walk thru your front door. Sellers Tip: It's great to save a few pennies on your heating bills, but make sure the temperature is set at 20 C or more when you have a showing scheduled.
- In the winter, days are short and nights are long. Wonderful features like a glowing fireplace and warm lighting take centre stage and can truly reflect the comfort and beauty that makes your home special.
- People tend to spend a lot more time in their homes in the winter. Even though it's always a good idea to make sure your home is clean and tidy, Buyers are more apt to consider the mismatched blanket on the sofa, coats filling the rack at the door and crock pot bubbling away on the counter top a sign of a happy and comfortable home.
- Invisible and sometimes expensive improvements are appreciated. Airtight windows, weather stripping, caulking, insulation, new exterior doors get noticed much more in the winter, especially if you're being compared to homes that don't have these updates.
- Exterior maintenance. Yes, there's no doubt that winter can cause a bit of work for homeowners. Digging out from frequent snowfalls and keeping walkways and driveways free of ice can be a time consuming task, but it usually pales in comparison to the time and energy required to keep lawns and gardens in pristine condition in the Summer months, giving you a lot more time to prepare the interior of your home for showings.
- Sure it's wonderful to think that Buyers will love feeling the warmth and charm of your home, but it can get downright tiresome bundling up the family on an hours notice and heading out into the dark wintery night.
- Even though you don't have to worry about weeding the gardens, trimming the hedges or cutting the grass, Mother Nature can be a nasty partner in winter real estate sales. Preparing for showings can take on added stress with surprise snowfalls.
- Poor insulation, weatherstripping, windows and doors will stick out like a sore thumb in the winter.
- Any deficiency in your heating system will be apparent. Space heaters or cold rooms in the house could indicate an issue with your duct work, air flow or furnace size.
- Keeping the path clear at the front door can also be a real challenge. If your front door opens to kids many times a day, you'll definitely have sufficient winter mats to handle the foot traffic, but if you're just a single person or a couple, you may not be prepared for more than a few pairs of boots at a time. Remove unnecessary furniture and/or tables. Make sure you have a large enough rug or mat so buyers aren't struggling to find a spot to take their snowy boots off or perhaps getting the impression that the entrance may not be big enough for their needs.
- Open houses in the winter may not be as successful as in the warmer summer months. Winter buyers are usually exremely motivated and will tend to be touring homes with their salesperson. Open house success will be dependent on the weather and driving conditions. Also, during winters when there's a lot of snow, side street parking can become reduced sometimes making Buyers think that parking may be an issue in your neighborhood.