The first signs of winter means that the holidays are just around the corner. But along with this comes a little bit of dread for commuting, unpredictable weather and for some, the pressure of selling their home in a seemingly quiet market. In spite of this, what you might not realize is that selling your home in the winter could actually bring more benefits to you than you think.
Seeing a home in the winter isn’t as easy as strolling into an open house on a sunny day, if you happen to be around the neighbourhood. The upside to this as a seller is that potential buyers visiting your home are usually quite serious and motivated. Harsher winter weather conditions make seeing a home a greater feat and involves more planning rather than a split-second decision. Chances are if someone is coming to see your home in the winter, they’re probably more committed to making a purchase.
Keeping this in mind, it’s important to step up your game when it comes to showings and open houses. This is the best time to showcase an inviting space: you might want to consider staging your home where possible to add some extra-cozy elements that will help potential buyers envision themselves, and their lives, in the space.
Maintaining a home through Canadian winter weather comes with a lot of work and added costs. Heating is actually one of the most expensive energy eaters in your home. So if you’ve spent time trying to make your home more energy efficient, winter showings are the perfect time to highlight this. You might want to work with your realtor to create a section on your home’s sell sheet about energy-efficient savings, as a big upsell for buyers. Things like a high-efficiency furnace or appliances, a smart thermostat, LED lighting, and even shower heads with adjustable water pressure all conserve energy and contribute to saving on your utility bill over time.
With fewer homes listed on the market, there’s less competition for sellers. This means that buyers will try to see every home they’re interested in. And while they know the supply on the market is limited, potential buyers will probably put down a more favourable offer. This could mean your home being sold fairly quickly, especially in a slow market.
While summer and spring offer flowers and beautiful gardens to accentuate your home’s exterior, this doesn’t work in a seller’s favour during the winter. Though it’s not impossible to create a beautiful curb appeal, you might have to get a little more creative with your ideas. Lean into the cozy winter vibe by including string lights outside the home to create a warm glow. You might even consider getting some winter foliage or faux-trees for the porch, hanging a wreath, or even a bird feeder to attract some nature, and liven up the life around your home. Most importantly, don’t forget to shovel your driveway and walkways to make sure it’s safe and comfortable for potential buyers–the last thing you want is someone slipping on their way in to see your home.
With fewer homes on the market, the number of buyers is also much lower during this season, so it’s important to tailor your expectations for the market. Bidding wars are not common during a time when the market is slow, which also means the number of offers you receive might be less than during the summer. This doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t get an offer you like, but the right offer could take a little more time. Don’t lose hope during the first week–the best offers take patience and time.
It’s no surprise that snow, ice, and sleet can make things a lot more difficult for showing your home. Unpredictable weather could result in showing cancellations or also prevent you from leaving your home during the showing. And while there are certainly some obstacles, this means that buyers making the trek to your home are taking the buying process quite seriously. The best you can do here is to clear your driveway of snow and ice and put salt on any walkways. Making the buyers feel at ease and safe once they arrive is a great way to start a winter showing.
Though the most favourable weather conditions are in the spring and summer, selling your home in the winter still offers several benefits. From making your home cozier with the fireplace, to offering little touches like hot chocolate during an open house, there are many ways to elevate the buying experience and still get you the offer you’re hoping for. If you’re thinking of purchasing a home this winter, one of Pine’s mortgage agents would be happy to speak with you to help you kick-off your home ownership journey.