It is no secret that Ottawa winters can be brutal. People often list cold weather, icy roads, and the possibility of less prospects as reasons why they shouldn’t list their homes in the winter months. But these are all myths. In fact, some recent data has shown that the opposite is true - home sellers were in fact better-off listing their homes in the winter than during any other season.
Selling your house in the winter months will require a shift in the way you present and market your home. There are several different things you should be thinking about to give your house an edge over the competition.
In the spring and summer months, home buyers tend to focus on things such as a well-manicured lawn, a vibrant garden, and a spruced up exterior. However, if your home is covered in the white stuff, you need to shift gears to a more winterized curb appeal. Make use of exterior lights to counter the darkness that winter brings. Purchase potted evergreens to accent the exterior décor, and be sure to add some additional life and colour to the front of your home.
You might even take it a step further and paint your front door or mailbox a bright vibrant colour to offset the gloominess of the season and add some character to your home.
Many of us are energy conscious when it comes to heating our homes. However, if potential buyers are coming over, make sure the house is extra warm and comfortable. If people are shivering at your open house they likely won’t stay very long, reducing your chances of getting an offer. Even if you get an offer, it might be lower than you expect, because a cold house of might be a symptom of underlying issues like poor insulation or drafty windows - problems that are not inexpensive to fix.
So crank it up to a nice comfortable temperature if you are expecting people to come through your home.
In the winter, potential buyers will be literally coming in out of the cold. You’ve turned up the heat physically – now do the same visually. The idea is to add warmth to your rooms through subtle accents. Invest in a bright throw on the sofa, colourful accent pillows in the bedrooms, and vibrant towels in the bathrooms. These visual touches will provide additional warmth throughout the house and increase its appeal.
Make sure your house is accessible - you don’t want to lose a potential buyer to a patch of ice. Make sure the driveway and all paths, including the side and backdoors, are cleared of snow and ice. Opening up the access to all the entrances of your home will create a sense of additional space that potential buyers normally do not have access to in the winter months.
So don’t turn away the neighbourhood kids when they knock on your door…put them to work!
It may be a winter wonderland outside, but that doesn’t mean you can’t showcase the spring and summer months. If you know in advance you will be selling in the winter, be sure to take exterior pictures of your house on nice and sunny days (pre-snowfall) to showcase and highlight the best aspects of your home. You can display these photos in a subtle way by placing them in visible areas throughout the house, or you can showcase these pictures all in one area like the kitchen counter or dining room table. If you didn’t take pictures in advance, check your photo files - you will likely have photos that you can use to create the same effect.
If you would like more information about selling your home in the winter months, get in touch!