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Tips on selling your home during the winter months

Published: 6th September 2018

Tips on selling your home during the winter months

Don’t be afraid of selling your home during the winter months. While it’s true this is the time of year when people often need to be tempted out of familiar surroundings, that very fact means that the buyers who are active in this season will tend to be the most committed ones.

It’s also worth noting that families with children could have a particular motivation for actively house hunting in winter since it will maximize their chances of being able to move into a new home during the winter break and allow the children to start actually feeling at home there before they go (back) to school. The general guidance for selling a home still applies in winter, but there are some season-specific tips.

Make sure viewers can access your house safely

You may be able to find your way to your home in the dark (although it’s probably not the best idea even for you) but don’t bank on your visitors being able to do so. Make sure there’s adequate lighting, even if it means installing it. Likewise, keep your path clear and be prepared to clear the road and pavement as well if necessary. A large “welcome” (or other) doormat at your front door will give visitors the opportunity to clean the great outdoors from their boots before entering your house.

Keep your outdoor space looking as good as possible

If you have a garden, do your best to keep it looking good even over the winter. As a minimum, remove the debris which winter winds will blow your way, if possible, find ways to enhance its visual appeal, for example by using some decorative outdoor lighting. If you have a balcony or patio, take a good look at it and see if there’s anything you can do to make it useable in winter. If not, again, at least keep it looking as good as you can.

Have convenient arrangement for outerwear

Visitors will probably be perfectly understanding if you ask them to remove heavy, winter footwear before walking through your home (even if they’re clean, they’re not necessarily good for your carpet) and it will help to start forming a good impression if you make it easy for them.

Consider getting a boot remover to help them take off their boots and/or provide a place to sit while they do so. Ideally provide them with something they can wear to protect their feet while walking through your home.

This doesn’t necessarily have to be slippers, it could be thick socks, just as long as they can protect the soles of their feet. Remember to think about having options for a range of foot sizes. You’ll also need to think about where your visitors are going to leave their footwear and if at all possible offer them a place to hang up coats, hats and scarves.

Mind the temperature

Your visitors will have come in from the cold but that doesn’t mean they want to stay in it, nor do they necessarily want to be roasted. Be prepared to put the heating on, even when you’re out, but don’t overdo it.

NB: Putting the house in a good state of repair is a marketing tip for all year round, but in winter it assumes a whole new level of importance. If buyers feel drafts, hear windows rattling or generally pick up any signs that the house could use some work before it’s properly ready for cold weather, they may decide not to risk it, which would be a shame, especially if you know it’s something you could easily have fixed. By contrast, if buyers pick up that your home is “cold-weather ready”, this can be very reassuring.

Use seasonal decor astutely

There’s no need to give up on seasonal decor just because you’re putting your house on the market. You do, however, need to be realistic about how an objective third party will perceive your decor. Here are three points to remember

Avoid overfilling rooms - buyers need to be able to visualize how they would use a room at any time of year and that means they need to have a realistic idea of its size. If you put too much seasonal decor in a room, it can make the room seem smaller than it actually is.

Avoid any decor which could be considered in questionable taste - your family may think your saucy santa decor is hilarious but it’s safest to assume your visitors will have no sense of humour.

Avoid leaving seasonal decor up long past its relevant period - anything which is specifically related to Christmas should be down by the end of January at the latest, although it’s fine to leave up generic winter decor over the whole season.

As a final point, go easy on the Christmas music and festive scents, again, these are very much a matter of taste and you don’t know what your visitors’ taste will be.

If you found this article useful and you are considering selling your Manchester property then please contact our local area experts at Indlu who are more than happy to answer any questions you may have. Alternatively, why not use our free online valuation tool to see how much your property is worth!

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