What to do when selling your house in winter
By lucmin on 21st October 2016
Winter can be a slightly quieter time for the housing market – and I hope my tips can help your property stand out for viewers.
I am not suggesting the old ‘put some bread in the oven just before a potential buyer arrives’ chestnut, but simple moves that can help your property seem more welcoming and a fabulous place to live.
I have below listed five tips, if you have any other suggestions to help, please feel free to leave them as a comment below.
1: Clear the driveway and pavement of any leaves or snow
Autumn and winter weather can be problematic when you’re trying to prepare a house to be sold. Leaves and snow can be off-putting for a buyer, getting their shoes wet and putting them in a bad mood before they’ve even seen the house – and potentially damaging your carpets! To avoid this, try to clear your pavement, driveway and any other paths they might want to use to make sure they are completely clear of leaves or snow. If it is icy, remember to grit your path before any viewers are set to visit.
It is also a good idea to clear the driveway of any snow or leaves before any photos are being taken for the website – while we hope your property sells quickly, if – for whatever reason – your home does stay on the website until the spring, snow on the ground will ‘date’ the image.
2: Make sure all the lights work, including any porch lights
Replace flickering bulbs as well as those that don’t work at all, so that your selling prospects don’t get left in the dark.
It might seem fairly obvious, but it doesn’t look very good when you’re showing somebody around a house and a light won’t work. It looks like you were unprepared for their visit, that you’re not serious about selling, and potentially that there is even a problem with the light socket.
This applies to porch lights as well: you will know for yourself that having a porch light on can instantly make a house seem more approachable – as well as helping viewers find their way to the door if it is in the evening!
3: Make sure people can visit in daytime hours
You will know yourself how dark a winter night can be – so imagine trying to look around the outside of a property after work! As such, it makes it easier to show off your garden and outer spaces in the daytime. Whether that means giving your solicitor a key to your house, or making sure you’re available on the weekends to show people around during the day, it’s always good to ensure that your property can be shown during the day, purely for convenience for all the parties involved in the selling process.
4: Put the heating on!
If the temperature has taken a tumble, make sure to have the heating on for any viewers.
Even if you normally prefer to put on an extra jumper than turn on the heating, a warm home will make buyers feel instantly more comfortable and therefore likely to look round a little longer, as well as assuring them that the heating does in fact work.
It you are one of the lucky people who have a working fireplace, this is also an opportunity to show it in action. Remember, however, to put a grate in front of it and do not leave it unattended for too long.
5: Decorate for the holidays
If you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Mawlid or any other religious holidays over the winter period, feel free to decorate. A twinkling Christmas tree or a lit menorah can help make your property seem more inviting and allow prospective buyers to imagine themselves spending the holiday season in the house or flat.
However, this is not an opportunity to go overboard and fill every room with decorations – as always, too much clutter is never good!