Selling your home in the winter months can be extremely daunting, especially if the home is vacant. The weather is cold outside and people would rather relax in the comfort of their own home and start researching the real estate market once the sun begins to shine and the temperatures rise. Don’t be discouraged if you need to sell your home during the winter months because Dana and Mark Baggett, owners of the local Showhomes in Little Rock, have provided some valuable tips in how to make your home more appealing and marketable during the colder months of the year.
1. Clear Snow & Ice
Throughout most of the country, winter is defined by cold temperatures, snow and ice, which can be a burden when you’re trying to sell your home. It’s important to make sure your driveway and walkway to the front door are clear of snow and ice. Not clearing off the walkway and driveway to the home makes it visually unappealing and it can be unsafe. Make sure you spread some ice melting product (rock salt, ice melt, etc.) to keep it clear while you’re away from the home.
2. Clean Up Outside Landscaping
It’s sad when your beautiful flowers die in the winter months, but it’s crucial that you get rid of the dead plants and clean up the flower pots or planters in front of your home. It’s not visually when you show up to a house and the first thing you see is an old flower pot with dead flowers. “You might not think people will notice because they are excited to get into the home,” says Dana, “but people definitely do.”
3. Supply Footies
Always have footies at the front door for when your buyers enter the home. Very often your agent will supply these with a basket. Another good tip is to keep a small mat by the front door, so people can take off their shoes and wipe their feet before they enter the home.
4. Stage Your Home
As soon as the buyer walks through the door, you want them to feel comfortable. A few things off the bat: make sure your lights are always on for a showing and the temperature is comfortable. Comfortable for one might be different for another, so settle somewhere between 65 to 67 degrees. This is sufficient to immediately warm up your guests when the outdoor temperatures are cold and dreary. Going along with staging, make sure to add in warm accessories, like a fluffy throw or decorative pillows of different textures to make the home visually appealing. “Don’t place small random rugs throughout the house,” says Dana. “It takes away from showcasing the beautiful floors to the potential buyer.”
5. Use Scent
It is very uncommon during winter months to have fresh air flowing throughout the home. While many people try to make up for this by using an unnatural sent, it can often be overwhelming. We recommend placing an ‘odor removing product’ such as Fresh Wave in the home. This product does not have any scent and it keeps the air neutralized.
Home ventilation in the winter months is hard to control, especially if the home is vacant and feels emptier than usual. “I tell every client to make sure their drafty spots throughout the house are covered because they are far worse in winter. Make sure your home is insulated properly. A good tip is to make sure the ceiling fans are flipped the other direction. Most ceiling fans have a winter switch,” says Dana. Turning on this switch will help the warm air circulate better throughout the home.