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Sell a House During the Winter? Yes!

Feb 14, 2017 02:43PM ● Published by Linda Ditch

There is snow on the ground. The fireplace is lit. The house is on the market. What? Sell a house in the winter? Surprisingly, the answer is yes.

Mary Chamberlin, President of the Upper Valley Board of REALTORS®, said in a recent email, “For the seller, there is generally less on the market during the winter months so they get more exposure. On the other hand, for a buyer it can mean getting a little better price, but not always because not much is on the market. I have bought in the winter, and it did not make much difference to me other than the snow on our boots. Most of the years that I have been a Realtor, winter has been my busiest season.”

To increase your chances of a sale, here are some tips to make your home more appealing to potential buyers. First, keep the walkways clear of snow and ice. Also, be sure there is a clear path from the street since that is where most buyers will park. For both snow and rain, place a mat at the front door, plus a container to hold wet umbrellas.

Since light is at a minimum in the winter, be sure to open all the curtains and blinds before a showing. If the view from the window isn’t the best, keep the blinds partially closed or cover with sheer curtains. Turn on all the lights in the house, including appliance and closet lights. (Be sure the fixtures are clean!) If the showing is at night, turn on all the outside lights, checking to make sure they are bright enough to light the way.

To give your home a warm and cozy feel, increase the thermostat by a couple of degrees, and then turn it back down just before you leave. This way the home will be warm for the potential buyers, and the heating system won’t turn on while they are there.

If the home has a fireplace, light it. However, be safe and don’t leave it unattended by coordinating closely with your agent about arrival and departure times.

Pay attention to the aromas in your home since it is closed up tight for the winter. However, some people are sensitive to the fragrance from candles, deodorizers, and plug-in air fresheners, so don’t go overboard. If you decided to bake cookies to make your home smell nice, be sure to leave some out for the buyers to enjoy.

Finally, leave out a few photos of your summertime yard and gardens for the buyers to see or give them to the agent to show.

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