Preparing and listing your home for sale during the winter months can feel overwhelming. The holiday preparations and gatherings of the past few months haven’t given homeowners much free time to prepare their house for the winter market. Maintaining a house that is cleaned and staged to attract buyers can also be tough when snowy sludge and salt are tracked into the house every day.
Fear not. Below are three ways that you can make this winter’s home selling process less stressful.
Of course, you want to get the largest return possible when selling your house – it’s one of the biggest investments many of us make in our lives. Making sure the snow is cleared, floors gleam and your closets look nicer than they ever did the entire time you lived there is one of the ways sellers get their asking price. That said, this is the time of year to make things easier, not harder, on yourself.
Consider hiring a snow removal and cleaning service if you don’t have them in place. Even if it’s a point of pride that you clean your home and shovel your driveway better than anyone else, it may be unrealistic to expect yourself to keep your house and walkways in perfect shape for buyer visits during the winter months.
Stash away what you don’t need so there is less clutter to tidy up. Companies like PODS will bring a furniture-sized storage container right to you and then take it away once it’s full. Consider pairing everyday items down to the essentials. Place things like toys, dishes, blankets – anything that creates extra work for you to do while tidying up or doing laundry in your storage container.
HGTV suggests that this may be the year that you scale back your holiday decorations as well. “Adornments that are too large or too many can crowd your home and distract buyers. Also, avoid offending buyers by opting for general fall and winter decorations rather than items with religious themes.”
The winter holidays can be an especially busy time of year for both you and your REALTOR®, so the more you can do to make sure you’re both on the same page, the better.
- Sync your calendars. Sit down and talk about which days will be off-limits for buyer visits and open houses. Your REALTOR® is willing to go the extra mile to be available for you, but you may need an occasional break. Map out a few days where you can count on having the house to yourself to regroup.
- Have your phone at the ready and carry a spare charger so you aren’t caught with a dead battery. Your REALTOR® needs to be able to communicate with you and vice versa.
- Grab a coffee and ask for tips. If you’re working with a seasoned REALTOR®, this won’t be their first off-season listing. Ask them what you can do to help them sell your house faster and be open to suggestions. Each area may have unique tricks to help you optimize your home. For example, sellers on the East coast or Midwest may need to keep their thermostat cranked up a bit higher than they normally would at this time of year to ensure their house is always cozy and welcoming.
Selling your home during the holidays, and winter months that follow, doesn’t have to take over your life. Strike a balance by outsourcing what you can, making less work for yourself and taking advantage of your REALTOR’S® time and advice.