Selling your home during the winter months can be difficult.  But just because it might be difficult to sell doesn’t mean it’s impossible.  In fact, you may find some positives to selling during the winter.  You will face far less competition during the winter than the spring and summer.  Less competition means that buyers will have fewer options and could be willing to pay more.  In order to attract buyers and get your home sold before the start of the new year, you’ll need to put in a little extra work.  While quickly selling your home during the winter might seem daunting, it can be very simple with the right real estate agent to guide you.

Find a Great Real Estate Agent

Since winter is generally considered a slower season for home sales, many real estate agents use the time to go on vacation or take longer breaks.  But with fewer buyers and the possibility of a lower selling price due to the winter slump, it is important to take the time to find the best agent in your area.  One that is more than willing to assist in marketing and get your home maximum exposure so that you can get your home sold by the new year.  In general, agents advise reaching out two to three months before you plan to list, that way they can guide on how to get your home listing ready.  After you’ve done your research and selected a few agents that you like, take the time to interview them to make sure they are the right match for you.  Once you’ve chosen an agent and signed paperwork with them you can get down to the business of preparing your home for selling.

Up the Curb Appeal

 In the end, your extra work will translate into a faster sale and higher sales price, according to 76% of agents who believe great curb appeal is the best way to increase your home’s marketability.  How do you up your curb appeal during the winter?  First keep the outside of your home safe and well maintained.  According to agents, the number one way to attract buyers during the winter is to keep driveways and sidewalks clear of snow, ice and debris.  Clear pathways not only keep potential buyers safe, they also present a well cared for home.  You can also keep outdoor appeal high by cleaning up landscaping, removing left over leaves from the lawn and flower beds, and adding winter ready shrubs such as winterthur viburnum or winterberry.

Second to keeping outdoor areas clean and free of debris is providing a well-lit area around your home.  Fortunately for those looking to sell quickly, adding outdoor lights has become as easy as a trip to the local hardware store.  Skip electrical work and go straight to outdoor solar lights.  Many need only to be pushed into dirt areas around walkways and the driveway.  Others can be placed on fence posts or on steps for added light.  Finally, some lights can be mounted around the front porch or near parking areas to add additional glow all winter long.

The last bit of outdoor work that will aid in a quick winter home sale is a bit of colorful decorating.  This will ultimately lend to an attractive and inviting presentation of your home with minimal effort.  Decorating can be as simple as adding a wreath to the front door, hanging garland around hand railings, and adding artificial evergreen topiaries next to the front door.  If you are interested in a bit more work you can always add a fresh coat of vibrant red or bright teal on your front door as doing this has been shown to increase interest and selling potential for winter home selling.

Make the Indoors Inviting

Preparing the inside of your home to sell in the winter is much the same as any other time of year, with just a few extra tweaks.  Go through the basics of home preparation by first making any repairs that are deemed necessary.  Since you are looking to sell in a short period, don’t take on extra repairs that won’t add to your home’s return on investment.  Instead, stick to repairs that your agent advises.  In addition to necessary repairs, you’ll need to declutter and do a deep clean around your house.  Overall decluttering should mean going room by room to remove anything that is unnecessary to the staging and selling of your home.  Remember, you don’t need to get rid of everything.  You can put it in storage until you are finished with the process of selling your home.

After you have cleaned and decluttered you can begin the process of staging your home.  This is a very important step if you want to quickly attract a buyer. Home staging can greatly decrease your home’s time on the market as well as help your home sell for more money.  Effective home staging will create a cozy inviting environment for potential buyers.  Warm wall colors such as creamy whites and light beiges will create an inviting space, while soft rugs and comfortable accents such as knitted throws will add texture to your rooms.

With your rooms cleaned and your home staged to perfection, you should have your home photographed for marketing purposes.  Marketing your home will assist in a quick sell.   While you might be tempted to just snap a few photos with your smartphone, you should leave the photography to the professionals.  Photographs are the first impression that potential buyers will have since most homebuyers begin their search online.  It will be difficult to lure them into a showing without a selection of high quality photos.

Be Patient

You’ve put the work in and now all that is left to do is wait for the perfect buyer.  This is when you need to be patient.  Keep in touch with your real estate agent and keep a flexible schedule so that you can maximize your home showing potential.  Keep a positive outlook and remember that home selling can take time, but with all your hard work you have a very good chance of selling your home before the new year starts.