Top 3 mistakes when selling your home during winter months
#1 - Leaving up your holiday décor for your listing photos
We love the holidays as much as anyone, but when you're selling your home, it's best to keep the holiday décor (both interior and exterior) to a minimum during open houses and to eliminate it entirely from listing photos. Holiday decorations can be extremely distracting and allow potential buyers to focus more on your decorations than the actual bones of the home. A well-staged home for sale should be universally appealing - you want buyers to envision themselves in the space, so also steer clear of excessive religious artifacts in the home during the holiday season, which can also distract your potential buyers. Lastly, holiday decorations in your listing photos can date your house and make a potential buyer question why it's still on the market. Yes, holiday decorations look beautiful, but you want your online pictures to be evergreen. Nothing worse than a potential buyer looking online in the Spring at pictures of your house with Christmas décor - red flag, why has this house been sitting on the market so long?!
#2 - Ignoring your home's exterior curb appeal
It's hard to have much motivation during the winter months to focus on your lawn and curb appeal, but it's still important to keep your home's exterior in tip top shape for listing photos and open houses. This includes regular maintenance to your lawn, whether that be mowing or leaf removal. Sellers also need to continue to create an inviting entrance to the home, so invest in weatherproof planters and either hardy plants that can withstand the cold or even purchasing some faux options. Below are some great options! If you know in advance that you are selling your home in a colder month, try to plan exterior photos in advance while the weather is more accommodating and your lawn looks lush and green.
#3 - Ignoring winter home maintenance and leaving it up to the buyer
When you're listing your home, you want to make sure that everything is in good working order and presented to potential buyers in its best possible light. When regular maintenance items are left unchecked, all the potential buyer sees is dollar signs. It's particularly important during the winter months. Whether you are living in the property or the home is vacant, make sure that you have thoroughly prepared your home for colder weather to avoid any major catastrophes. Below are a handful of important cold weather maintenance, both inside and outside:
Make sure the heating system is ready
Check for air leaks and drafty windows and doors
Prevent pipes from freezing
Check the roof and clear out gutters
Trim tree branches
Protect entryway floors from snow and ice (think open house)
We want you to sell your home quickly, regardless of what time of year you list. But just because the weather is a little less than ideal, your home can still be the bright shining star on the market!
Xmas image via