selling your house in the winter

When most people think about winter they think shorter days, cold temperatures and a blanket of dead leaves. Not ideal for selling a house, is it? While spring, summer and early fall do offer the best conditions for selling in Birmingham, there is still a demand for housing in the winter. So, if selling your home is a priority for you now, you can rest assured there are buyers who need to buy now.

Even in the Winter, Curb Appeal Still Matters

Even with old man winter mucking up your pristine landscaping, Birmingham, there are still things you can do to maximize curb appeal this winter. Never underestimate the power of curb appeal. It still remains one of the most important things for a home seller to focus on. Neglected rooftops filled with leaves, gutters grayed with mold, a blanket of decaying dead leaves on a wooden deck...tisk, tisk.

Home buyers will sometimes drive up to a home and drive away if they are not pleased with what they see. Or if they do go in, they are already thinking that this home has not been maintained properly. That is not the thought you want to be twirling in a buyer's head if you want your most important investment to bring top dollar.

While there is not a lot you can do for the fallen leaves and lack-luster winter colors, there are several, subtle actions you and your agent can do that will appeal to buyers.

  • If you have images of your house in different seasons, those could be really helpful images for marketing your house. Around the Birmingham suburbs, there are some really breath-taking tapestries that God paints for us at the turn of every season. Although I have sold my house in Homewood a few years back, I still have vivid memories of the magnificent flowering dogwood tree that lives at the corner of Saulter and Windsor Blvd. Those are the types of pictures that will sell your house. 
  • Update your house numbers. This is an inexpensive project that can make your home more visible from the road.
  • Get some new doormats to and a fresh look to your entrances and keep your floors clean during the winter. Stay away from family names on your doormats. Remember, we want the other family to looking to buy your home to imagine themselves in their home ·
  • I recently completed a pre-market assessment of a family preparing their home for market. The home is located in one of Homewood's premiere neighborhoods, historic Hollywood. One of the items on the list was cleaning the gutters and removing leaves off of the roof. As he was going through the list, he chuckled and said, you know I clean those gutters two weeks ago. He's cleaned them since again. We continue to deal with leaves throughout the winter, so we need to make continue to add it to our weekly or bi-weekly maintenance landscaping list at least while your home is on the market. Rake those leaves from driveway, deck, roof and sidewalls and clear gutters of that debris for the best overall appearance.
  • If you want to stand out, paint your front door an eye-catching color. This is another inexpensive project but it can add that much missed color to your home this winter. DIY Network has a list of tips for painting and selecting the right color for your home. 
  • Add some winter plants to your front porch in planters. You will do well with some lavender, cabbage, rosemary, and evergreens. Just make sure you get those covered during hard freezes. 
  • Add some extra lighting to your home. House hunters will often see your home in late afternoon and adding that extra light can make your home stand out. You can add inexpensive floodlights to highlight your home or solar lights to illuminate your walkways.

Do Not Forget About the Backyard

The backyard tends to get ignored during the winter, but while you are selling your house, you cannot afford to. While you are selling your house, create the appearance of the deck or yard could be in the summer when they will use it. Clean off the patio furniture, add some bright colored cushions, and some potted plants to bring the color back into the space. This is another opportunity to add more lighting to the space to lighten up an area. Add more solar lights or up lighting. There are also ways to use rope lights to highlight your deck or walkways. Get creative and create a space you want to stay in.

The Entry Way

If you do nothing else before leaving your home for the day or for a showing, clean up the entryway. This is the first space that a home buyer will see when they walk through your door.

Make sure that if you have an entry table, that there is no clutter visible. If you have issues with the buildup of clutter, buy some baskets to store under an entry table or in a coat closet for a quick place to hide your mail, keys, backpacks, or shoes.

With the absent of thriving plant life in outside of the house, get some fresh flowers or houseplants to literally ad life to your space. You could also add a very light scent to the space to create a fresh feel to the area and make sure you clean the floor and rugs in the space as frequently as possible and make sure to have a place for the potential buyer to place their umbrellas when the weather is less than pleasant.

We all want to save money, but make sure you have your heat set high enough when you leave the house. If you have a programmable thermostat, make sure you check the schedule to make sure your home is warm and cozy for any showings. ?

Maximize Light

The inside of your house will also have to struggle with the decrease in sunlight hours, so this is the time to reevaluate the light bulbs in your house. Saving money is a great thing most of the time, but sometimes older CFLs lightbulbs can lose their brightness and can cause your house to appear darker or a strange color. Make sure that you do not have burned out bulbs or missing lightbulbs in any of your fixtures.

After you get your light fixtures sorted, take some time in the evening and evaluate the brightness of your lighting in your most important areas like the kitchen, entry, living room, master, and especially a finished basement that is dark even in the daytime.

Subtle Accessories Make a Difference

It is the winter, so you might as well embrace it and add some coziness to your home. Drape throw blankets on your sofa or a chair in your living room. In your bedrooms, add some fluffy comforters to the foot of your beds.

If you can, change out accessories to ones with warmer colors and richer textures.

If you plan on selling your home during the holidays next year, make sure to not overwhelm your home with holiday décor. Instead, use subtle greeneries and lights to create the holiday feel without cluttering the space.


Critical Winter Home Staging Tips For Selling Your Home

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