Cold weather and reduced amounts of daylight are real problems for the home seller who wants or needs to sell their home during the winter months. Not only is it more difficult to get prospective buyers to view homes during the slower winter real estate season, but snow, ice, and a gloomier winter atmosphere can prevent them from seeing all the positive aspects of the homes they view. If you are trying to sell your home during the winter, however, there are some proactive steps you can take to impress prospective buyers at each viewing and help them see your home in its best light.
Make viewing your home safe, comfortable, and convenient
One of the first ways to impress buyers during a winter showing is to make sure they can easily park their car and safely walk from it to your front door. To do this, sellers should make sure that there is room for the buyer to easily park in the driveway or along the curb in front of the home. Additionally, it is very important to make sure that any snow and ice have been cleared from the parking area and the sidewalk leading to the front door.
If your driveway is crowded with family vehicles, accomplishing this may mean parking one of your cars somewhere else temporarily to make room for the prospective buyer's car. Buyers who cannot find a parking place or see sidewalks covered with slippery snow and ice upon arriving at a home viewing may decide to skip it and view a different home, so it makes sense for sellers to do what they can to make viewing their homes safer, more comfortable, and more convenient during winter.
Dispel gloom with additional light
Sellers can also help to encourage buyer interest by taking steps to make sure their home is well-lit, especially during late-day showings on gloomy, overcast winter days. To do this, sellers can:
- make sure interior and porch lights are on when prospective buyers arrive (if sellers can not be home to do this, they may want to consider asking a neighbor to do this for them or using an inexpensive timer to control their home's lighting)
- make sure interior light fixtures and lamps are clean and any non-working bulbs have been replaced to avoid dark areas in the home
- add welcoming light along sidewalks, patios, arbors, and fences with inexpensive solar lights that come on automatically at dusk or when the winter sky is very overcast
- use safe, electric or battery operated candles on window sills, mantels, and other areas of the home to add additional light and interest
For even more ways to help prospective buyers see your home at its best during the winter, consider asking your real estate professional like Coldwell Banker Pro West to tour your home with you and make suggestions for improving its appeal.