Spring and summer may be the traditional home selling and buying seasons, but, as the saying goes, life waits for no one. Whether you’ve got your eye on a brand-new home in one of LGI Homes‘ stunning new communities down the road, or have to relocate to another city for your career, selling your home in the middle of the winter doesn’t have to be difficult. It does, however, call for a bit of thought and a bit of creativity in order to set your plans in motion and reel in your buyer.
Firstly, winter comes with its own bevy of difficulties, the bulk of which are related to short days. Showing your home during daylight hours is imperative, so you will likely need to give preference to weekend showings; early sunsets mean that evening and afternoon showings are likely to be held in the dark, which may discourage some buyers. During showings, be sure to open all drapes and shades and let in as much of winter’s weak light as possible, enhancing your home’s sense of brightness and spaciousness. Use electric lights in darker rooms where necessary, and don’t be afraid to light a fireplace or distribute battery-operated candles throughout the home (no unattended flames!). While winter may be dark, our tendency to crave a cozy and inviting space may work to your advantage if you open your home as a warm and softly-lit refuge from winter’s raging wrath.
Speaking of winter’s wrath, in most of the country, winter means either snow or rain (and sometimes both). Keep your home in tip-top shape and make your guests feel at home by providing ample space for visitors to wipe their shoes and feet. Consider adding a coat rack near your front door for their ease and comfort while looking at the property. In rainy areas, include an umbrella stand as well. For those in the snowbelt, keep your front walkway well-shoveled and ice-free—you don’t want anyone falling, getting injured, or even just passing on seeing your house because of all the snow lying between your home and their car.
The condition of your landscape is another issue to contend with in the offseason, with lawns tending to look half-dead in the winter frost, and most bushes and trees either naked or sagging under the weight of their dull grey-green winter shades. You can boost the natural appeal of your yard through small arrangements of winter-hardy plants that you can bring inside after your open house is over. Winter bloomers like hellebores, witch hazels, and even some sages can add some delicate color and texture to a bland winter landscape, and even ornamental grasses and plants with variegated foliage can add interest and give a slight suggestion as to the beauty of your garden when it revives in the Spring. If you have any photos of your landscape in the Spring, why not include them in your promotional sheets? It doesn’t hurt to let buyers know what’s hiding beneath the snow.
As you can see, selling a home in the winter isn’t impossible, it just requires some consideration of the ways in which homes—and people—differ in the winter from in the spring. The attributes that may make a home great in warmer weather (great landscaping, a pool, or an outdoor patio) may not shine as brightly on a chilly day, so bringing the focus into the heart of the home (and encouraging a cozy, comfortable and relaxed mood) can make the difference between helping potential buyers envisioning themselves curled up by the fireplace, and leaving them feeling cold.