Surviving Selling in the Cold - Tricks of the Trade

Corey & Scooter
December 13, 2022

There are many misconceptions that exist surrounding selling in the cold. While the winter season may not be for everyone, you are more than able to have a successful home-sale. We will review some tips and tricks that can come in handy when selling in the winter.

5 Ways to Boost Your Curb Appeal

1. Check Your Landscaping
Go through your yard and clean up any old debris and leaves that have built up through the year. Weed your gardening areas and thin your flower beds. Any sidewalk areas that may be overgrown, cut those back. Sweep the dust and any gravel/wood chips that may have covered your walkway and cement slabs. Basically, you are straightening up the exterior by focusing on your yard and landscaping, make it neat and tidy!

2. Style for the Season
Think of the decoration items that get you in that great holiday spirit! It's time to pull those out of storage and boost the appeal of your property by adding that seasonal touch. Some good ideas include wreaths, plants, classy lawn ornaments, doormats, and more! Another good thing to focus on is the lighting on the exterior of your property. Adding some elegant winter lights can really give it that extra flare. What look comes to your mind when you think of selling in the cold? Run with that!

3. Paint & Paneling
As time goes on our homes tend to accumulate some normal wear and tear. Since you are selling your home, you don't want to spend unnecessary money on costly updates, you just want to up the appeal factor. Touching up the exterior paint and cleaning up the paneling can really give it that extra touch. It may seem small but throwing up an extra coat of paint or pressure-washing the siding may be the deciding factor for some!

4. Add some Flare
Bring out some colors to highlight your home with all of the snow! Instead of all white all the time, grab some great accent colors that bring warmth to your home-sale. You can do this with your potted plants, winter decorations, lights, outdoor furniture, and more!

5. First Impressions Are Everything
What is the first impression of your home? Your front entrance! You will want to make sure this area is as welcoming as can be! Focus on how it will look to the people who have never seen your home before. Think about adding some plants, classy furniture, carvings, whatever it may be that you think looks good there. While you're at it, take a look at your door. Does it look strong and sturdy? Does it have lots of wear? You might want to consider freshening it up and bringing a little bit more life to it.

Read more on how to boost your curb appeal while selling in the cold.

3 Ways to Prepare Your Interior

1. Deep Clean
While this one may seem obvious, it is the most important one. When you are showing your home, you want people to know that they are going to purchase a cleanly, tidy house. Think spring cleaning but more intense! While you're doing this, it's the perfect opportunity to de-personalize your property. This may seem sad since this is the place you call home, but you want to remove all remnants of your life there. Take down family pictures, sentimental pieces, and those 'inside joke' items. As potential buyers walk through, the ultimate goal is for THEM to feel at home. It is hard to imagine yourself in a home when all you're seeing is someone else's memories and items.

2. Stage for the Season
Time for the fun part! Staging your home can be done by you, your agent, or a professional staging company. If you don't want to put the extra money in to hire a professional stager, then get creative! Create warm and cozy vibes by adding some thick blankets, inviting colors and tones, a relaxing ambiance, and anything you can think of that would make you feel at home when walking through a strangers house! During showings, it's a good rule of thumb to have warm drinks prepared, like cocoa or hot cider. If you have a fireplace, turn it on during showings! If not, keep the temperature of the house nice and warm so it feels inviting. You don't want to give off a cold vibe to potential buyers. Let's boost your appeal and make selling in the cold not only possible, but probable!

3. Highlight What You Have
Spend your time focusing on the features of the home that make you feel the most at-home during the cold weather. Some examples may be the fireplace, large kitchen, mudroom, heated garage, crafting space, hot tub, and many more! Once you choose your prime winter features, make sure these are the main focus. When marketing the listing, make these the talk of the town! Since winter can be dark and dreary at times, you will want to show off any and all natural light. Lighting is very important when showing, so if you think your property is lacking, run to the store and get some bright bulbs. If you are going for more of a warm ambiance, you can get the color-specific bulbs. Schedule showings for the brightest part of the day and pull back all curtains and blinds.

Read more on preparing your interior from our previous blog post, Maintaining Your Home - Old or New!

2 Ways to Stay Safe During Winter Showings

1. Create a Routine
The last thing you want is someone viewing your home and falling down on your sidewalk! To avoid this disaster waiting to happen, get in a solid routine every day. Whether you set this up with your agent, a neighbor, or a company, ensure all safety measures are taken. You can set up a plan to lay down de-icer or sand before each showing or maybe just at the beginning & end of each day. Also include shoveling, snow-blowing, and plowing to this routine. If you use a professional company for this, set a specific time-frame that you would like these tasks completed.

2. Personal Safety
As we are all well aware of, this time of year tends to get dark very early. As darkness sets before 5pm, this can make showings more difficult. Set up proper lighting outside of your home and make sure there's nothing that can be tripped/slipped on. The darkness also brings the possibility for easier access for criminal activity. Keep your house locked at all times when showings are not being held and ensure the showing agent locks up when they leave. If you are viewing homes during the winter days, make sure you are never alone and travel with the buddy system. After all, you can never be too safe!

Read more on how to stay safe during the cold season from our previous blog post, Surviving the North Idaho Winter!

5 Ways Professionals Help You

1. Real Estate Agent
Hiring the right real estate agent for you is the most important step. It's vital that your agent is aware of the latest trends regarding selling in winter. If they're not, you may see your listing sit for a substantial amount of time. They will be able to review the latest market data and provide the best price for your property. Along with this, they will bring on the following other professionals to assist with the home-sale.

2. Photographer
A professional photographer will be able to highlight the areas of your home that are most likely to be appealing to potential buyers. They will ensure the lighting and color of your photos are easy on the eye and will leave out those not-so-great- areas of your house. This will come in very handy when your agent goes to market your listing.

2. Staging Company
Depending on the size and value of your property, your agent may hire a staging company to boost the appearance of your listing. Before photos are taken, they will go through and replace your furniture and home decor for rented furniture and decor items. This will remove all of those sentimental items in your house and will easily de-clutter it as well. As we spoke about previously, we want to add some warm tones to give the best winter, cozy feel as possible.

3. Home Inspector
Hiring a home inspector is vital, not only when selling in the cold, but when selling any time of the year! They will ensure your home is up to standard, which will protect all parties involved.

4. Cleaning Service
Depending on the state of the property, the agent may consider hiring a professional cleaning service to help with the appearance of the house. Walking through a dirty home will not make it any easier to sell, so this can be worth every penny! It can also make this process a little less overwhelming, knowing that you do not have to spend days getting the house cleaned up in preparation for the home-sale.

Read more on why hiring professionals is so important when selling your home from our latest blog post!

Are You Ready?
Don't let the cold weather dictate when you can sell your house. With the right agent, you can accomplish anything! These tricks of the trade can make the difference between a fast home-sale and being left out in the cold!