Monday, January 29, 2007

Top 5 Tips: How to Sell Your House in the Winter

Does selling your home during the winter seem like a daunting task? It doesn’t have to be. If you follow a few simple rules, it can be a lot easier than you expect. In fact, winter can actually be a great time to sell. First off, there’s a lot less competition than the spring and summer months. Secondly, buyers who are looking for a home during the winter tend to be serious and motivated.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

1) Staging: Consider hiring a professional “stager” to stage your home. A good home stager can make your home feel more inviting and set it apart from your competition. A good stager can usually work with your existing furniture to create a welcoming environment.

2) Optimize Lighting: Dark is depressing, so optimize the lighting in your house to give it the appearance of being light and airy. Just think about it: if it’s gloomy outside, a bright home is sure to give prospective buyers a positive impression of your house. To ensure there’s lots of light in your house, use high wattage bulbs, make sure all the lights are already on, and make sure you only show your home during the high-daylight hours. If you have dark rooms, you can enhance light by placing spotlights on the floor behind your furniture.

3) Create a Mood: Consider putting on some very soft background music. Make sure there are pleasant smells throughout your home, but do not use anything too strong that could be off-putting to some buyers. Avoid deodorizers and perfumes which are usually too strong and some people may also be allergic to them. Your best bet is to bake some bread or cookies, which will create a really homey and inviting atmosphere. Just make sure there’s some tasty snacks available so your buyers aren’t disappointed or leave hungry.

4) Remove Shoes Before Entering Home: Have your prospective buyers either remove their shoes before they enter your house or provide paper booties they can wear: Not only will this keep your carpet and floors clean, it will reassure your buyers that you take excellent care of your home.

5) Don’t Overlook the Details: Wash all the windows. Grimy windows are a sign of a poorly cared for home. Clean any cobwebs. Remove unneeded items from your garage and storage spaces. Put these items in public storage. Your house and storage spaces will appear much larger. Clean your refrigerator out, vacuum daily, wash and wax your floors, polish chrome fixtures and clean your mirrors. It may seem like a lot of work, but it will be worth it!

These are just a few tips to make the home selling process easier during winter. It’s not a bad idea check out the model homes in new developments. You’ll often pick up some ideas.

Don’t forget to call us for a free market analysis.

Good luck, or as they say in Italy: buona fortuna!