The weather outside is frightful- does this mean that any attempt to sell your home in the wintertime is going to be just as abysmal- or worse?
Not quite. While it’s true that most Hamilton homeowners wait until spring to put their property on the market, hanging out your ‘For Sale’ sign now beside the inflatable reindeer or plastic snowman can actually be a great idea. Here’s why, and how you can spruce up the home’s curb appeal for a faster sale.
Benefit #1: There’s less competition
With everyone else waiting for spring, you’re going to have less competition for the buyers who are now out there, checking out homes while they do their holiday shopping. While the warm weather season is definitely a buyer’s market, winter is arguably a seller’s paradise.
Benefit #2: People are there to buy
Buyers looking for a new home between December and early April tend to be more serious about making a purchase. In the spring, your home will be overrun by classic ‘tire-kickers’ who may be more interested in making their afternoon fly by than buying a home. Few of the people who visit your house in December will be “just looking.”
Now that you’re putting your home on the market at the ideal time, here are some ways to make the most out of it.
Tip #1: Maintain Curb Appeal
When it comes to curb appeal in the winter, you’ll have to get creative. You can’t rely on a well-manicured green lawn to attract passers-by, but you can work with a Hamilton landscaping company to make sure that the property looks irresistible even under six inches of snow.
- While you can’t paint the home’s exterior when it’s minus 20 outside, you can still ensure that the property looks well-maintained. On milder days, use warm, soapy water to wash the siding and arrange for a professional window cleaning any time the winter winds cause grime to accumulate on the glass.
- Painting the front door a solid colour. If you’ve got a stone house, red paint will stand out like a cheery beacon amidst the grey and white. During the Christmas season, hang a festive wreath on the front door and draw the curtains so that your indoor lights can be seen easily from the road.
- Adorning your yard with well-trimmed winter greenery. Your landscaping contractor can recommend some bright and beautiful options for your location. They can also ensure that existing shrubs and tree branches don’t bend dangerously low under the weight of snow and ice and obstruct walkways.
- Clearing mud and puddles from the porch and setting out a clean welcome mat for each showing.
Don’t forget to salt your front steps and the path leading up to your front door. If snow accumulates, have your landscaping contractor shovel it away from the various walkways on your property so that visitors can easily -and safely- access the grounds.
Tip #2: Do some winter staging
Stage your property to make it feel cozy, comfortable, and inviting. Potted evergreens, plush throw rugs across the sofa, and a cinnamon or clove-scented candle will make visitors feel welcome and present the home as a cold-weather haven. Bonus points if you’ve got a pile of freshly baked gingerbread or molasses cookies on the kitchen counter during the showing.
If you schedule showings in December, it’s fine to leave the ornaments out, but put away any gifts or personalized decorations like stockings. You want to make potential buyers feel as if they’re going through their future home, not someone else’s. Great decorating options include plant urns full of pine or cedar boughs and a mantelpiece with sprigs of holly, silver ball ornaments, and gold ribbon woven throughout.
Tip #3: Brighten the interior
Ruby red or deep black accent walls are a nice dramatic touch, but they can also look a little gloomy in the dead of winter. After doing a thorough decluttering, repaint the walls in a light, neutral yet appealing colour.
Other ways to create a warm mood on a freezing winter night include:
- Scented candles and bowls of potpourri in the main rooms
- Having a pot of apple cider simmering on the stove (Even better if there’s a pile of cups and a nearby note that says ‘Please help yourself.’)
- Leaving a fresh pot of coffee on, along with disposable cups, creamers, and sugar
You’ll also want to keep the floors looking pristine, so put rubber mats in the foyer for muddy boots and leave out a small pile of one-size-fits-all slippers for visitors to wear while they are viewing the property.
Tip #4: Don’t forget to turn on the heat!
Your exterior looks amazing and people are requesting showings- congrats! Now don’t lose the opportunity for a great sale by forgetting to turn on the heat. If your home is currently not occupied, go to the property and make sure that the heat is turned on several hours before any showings are scheduled. No amount of flawless staging or holiday glamour will persuade a potential buyer to go through a house that’s freezing cold.
When you list your home months ahead of the often-frenzied spring market, you’ll be dealing with more serious buyers and have more time to carefully consider their offers. Remember: all those life events that motivate people to buy a new home (a growing family, new job, or even retirement) aren’t things that only happen when the weather is warm. If you present your house as cozy, cheery, and welcoming even in the depths of December, you may find your perfect buyer sooner than you think.
At Green Collar Landscaping, we keep homes and businesses looking enticing all year round by providing superior landscaping and maintenance services. To learn more about how we can boost your home’s curb appeal before you place it on the market this winter, please contact us.