Selling a house during the winter season, especially when snow blankets the ground, might seem daunting. Many homeowners believe that the colder months are not an ideal time to sell, as they assume that the market slows down and curb appeal diminishes under layers of snow. However, with the right strategies and preparations, selling your house during winter can be advantageous and offer unique opportunities.
Let’s not forget, this is Vermont. Snow helped put Vermont on the map. Thank Snowflake Bentley, or Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, and the cast of White Christmas singing about “Snow.” Winter is our season and many homes here shine when covered in snow. Here are a few things to focus on to make sure your home will stand out to buyers.
Winter Curb Appeal
Add Extra lighting: Inside and out: With daylight hours so short in the wintertime, it’s important to brighten things up. Don’t hesitate to boost interior and exterior lighting by adding lighting fixtures or increasing bulb wattage.
Snow Removal: Keep walkways, driveways, and paths clear of snow and ice. Regularly shovel and de-ice these areas to ensure safe and easy access for potential buyers.
Exterior Maintenance: Enhance curb appeal by clearing snow from the roof, gutters, and around the house. Trim overhanging branches that might be weighed down by snow and touch the house.
Seasonal Decor: Use seasonal decorations strategically to add warmth and charm. A neatly decorated entrance with a seasonal wreath or well-placed winter plants can create a welcoming atmosphere.
Cozy Atmosphere: Emphasize the cozy aspects of your home. Make sure the interior is warm and inviting. Consider staging with plush throws, rugs, and warm lighting to create a comfortable ambiance. I never hesitate to bake a pie before a showing.
Highlight Features: Showcase winter-specific features like a fireplace or heated floors. These can be significant selling points during the colder months.
Natural Light: Maximize natural light by opening curtains and blinds during daytime showings. Winter daylight, although shorter, can create a bright and cheerful atmosphere.
Professional Photography: Hire a skilled photographer to capture your home’s interior and exterior on a sunny day after snowfall. These images will highlight the beauty of your property in the winter.
Virtual Tours: Offer virtual tours or video walkthroughs for potential buyers who might not want to venture out in the cold. This allows them to experience your home without physically being there.
Pricing and Timing
Competitive Pricing: Research the local market and set a competitive price. With fewer houses on the market, your property might attract serious buyers looking for opportunities even during winter.
Flexible Schedule: Be accommodating with showing times. Shorter days and inclement weather might limit the window for potential buyers to view your home, so flexibility is key.
Real Estate Agent: Enlist the help of an experienced real estate agent who understands the nuances of selling homes in winter. They can guide you through the process and effectively market your property.
Home Inspection: Consider getting a pre-listing home inspection. Identifying and addressing potential issues beforehand can speed up the selling process.
Selling your house in a Vermont winter might present unique challenges, but it also offers distinct advantages. Serious buyers are often actively looking during this time and there are fewer homes to choose from. With the right approach, your property can stand out in the market. By focusing on creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere, highlighting winter-specific features, and employing strategic marketing techniques, you can increase your chances of successfully selling your home even when snow covers the ground.
Ben Durant is a leading Senior Real Estate Specialist in the State of Vermont and has a passion for supporting and defending his clients through the process of downsizing, right-sizing, and relocating in Vermont. Ben lives with his wife, Amy, and three children in Williston, Vermont. He can be reached at Ben@TransitionsVT.com or by calling directly at 802-355-6688. Visit his website at TransitionsVT.com.