‘Tis the season to be selling! Of course, you might be confused by this statement; after all, everything you’ve ever known about real estate has told you that spring is the time to sell. But why let cold weather stop a sale from happening? Businesses don’t close down for the winter, and neither should the real estate market. Sell your home this fall or winter by bucking tradition and using holiday traditions to attract buyers. The “off-season” is actually the perfect time to list your home because there’s less competition from other homeowners. While there are also fewer buyers in colder seasons, they tend to be more serious about buying a house. You’re less likely to find a browsing buyer and more likely to find a “ready to checkout” buyer.
Curb appeal is the beauty of a home’s exterior. It attracts buyers and adds value to the home. Spruce up your house by making it look nice on the outside for listing photos and buyer viewings. You might even attract an interested passerby! Fall curb appeal starts with using seasonal colors to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Think orange, brown, red, gold, green, and tan. If it looks like a leaf, then it represents autumn. You can make decorations on a budget by going the DIY route. With some craft supplies, make an autumn wreath made with leaf shapes for the front door. Keeping with the leaf theme, autumnal plants out front placed next to pumpkins will make your home feel like a cornucopia of fall feelings.
Winter curb appeal gets trickier because you’re dealing with snow and darkness. Since winter brings in motivated buyers, many of them will choose to view homes after work instead of waiting for an open house. Because it gets dark earlier in the winter, buyers will be coming by after the sun sets. Keep the entrance safer by shoveling snow from walkways and installing plenty of light around the perimeter. These two actions also make your house look brighter and more inviting against a winter backdrop. Don’t rule out a winter garden, either. Hardy shrubs and winter blooms can transform a
stark exterior into a warm, welcoming one. Add wreaths and tasteful string lights around the doorway and on trees to tap into the holiday spirit without looking gaudy. It’s best not to go overboard with decorations in case your potential buyers are not into that sort of thing.
Now that you’ve generated some interest in your home, make the inside just as beautiful. This is what really sells the house, so declutter your home first. In all seasons, buyers will be attracted to open, neutral spaces. Too much furniture or niche colors and designs could turn off a buyer as much as flashy Christmas decorations. Get rid of the clutter by hiring someone to move what you don’t need every day into storage. You could even get a head start on packing by leaving it in storage until you move houses. Once you’re down to the minimalist look, give the house a deep scrubbing. Clean out all
closets, cabinets, drawers, blinds, floorboards, fan blades, air vents, and every spot that you might neglect during normal cleaning. It might be easier on your back to hiring a professional cleaning crew to do the job, though it’s important to keep in mind that cleaners charge between $75 to $99 per house, though that number will likely increase depending on the size of your home.
Get the house staged for listing photos, open houses, and private viewings. With your agent’s help, you should aim to decorate your house in a way that looks clean and modern but still livable. During fall and winter, try adding holiday-themed décor to your homes, such as lights on the mantel, scented candles, a glowing fire, and a well-placed tree. Set the thermostat to the perfect temperature to keep your winter home from feeling like an icy cave; you want the prospective buyers to feel warm and cozy. Don’t let the winter blues stop you from selling your house, as homebuyers are more
motivated this season. As long as you’re putting effort into brightening up your home and avoiding winter selling mistakes, you’re on track to finding the buyer of your dreams. Next stop: moving into the new home of your dreams.