Don’t Freeze Your Prospects – Selling Your House in the Winter by, Anna Oliver
Toronto, it’s time to face it—winter is well and truly here. The leaves have given up their shaky grip on brittle branches, the birds have fled for sunnier climes, and the snow is beginning to gather and crunch underfoot. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, isn’t it?
The long season between autumn and spring poses its own unique set of challenges, especially when it comes to real estate. If you’re considering selling your home it’s easy to think that spring is the only time to list. While it’s true that there are different things to take into consideration on these colder, shorter days, selling in winter can actually be a much better experience than you would assume!
There’s no need to fear if life doesn’t follow a schedule and you find yourself having to sell in the winter. The key is to make a positive first impression that will be hard to forget! With a few simple tips, you can maximize your selling potential in the winter:
Don’t let winter be an obstacle—literally.
So there’s snow on the ground, and you have a showing—great! The good news is that if they’re looking to buy right now they must be serious and motivated buyers, so you’re off to a good start.
To ensure you don’t lose them before they’ve even made it through the door, take a moment to make sure that winter itself won’t be a physical obstacle. Make sure you have your walkway shoveled and salted—nothing worse than having the buyers climb over snow banks. Put the lockbox is in an easy-to-reach place, and not frozen shut.
Take the opportunity to show off your home’s entryway functionality.
Winter means gear, from hats to coats to boots and more. When buyers are wearing all their winter layers, there’s never a better time to show off how your entryway works! Before your showing, make sure you have empty hooks and space for coats, boots, and scarves. Allow buyers to imagine shedding their layers in your entryway—soon to be theirs—after a long winter day.
Make it bright.
Days are shorter at this time of year, so I always recommend having all of the lights on in the house. If it’s an evening showing, have the exterior lights on as well.
Have a fireplace? Turn it on! It makes for a great focal point and cozy atmosphere. Remember not to light candles or a fire and leave the home unattended. You never know what can happen.
Think beyond the visual.
Some of the best parts of winter are the scents. Think back to your favourite holiday memories and you’ll know what I mean. Especially at this time of year, remember that it’s not just about visually engaging potential buyers!
When you’re preparing for a winter showing, think about inviting natural smells. Put a pot of coffee on, or simmer some apple juice with a cinnamon stick to invoke a warm, homey feeling. Avoid artificial sprays and scented candles—natural scents are best!
Though it may seem daunting to list your home in the winter, it truly can be done. With these easy tips, you’ll be able to maximize your winter showings and get back to building snowmen (and, let’s be honest, praying for spring to arrive).
For more real estate and home ownership tips, find The Anna Oliver Group on YouTube.
ANNA OLIVER, sales representative at Sotheby’s International Realty Canada “Successfully helping buyers and sellers for more than 13 years with all of their real estate needs.” Annaoliver.ca