NEW YORK – Selling a home is no easy task, and it's even more difficult when you're trying to sell in the dead of winter — when the weather is bad, the days are shorter and greenery is in short supply.
There are good reasons for selling in the winter, however — namely, less competition. But you still have to work hard to attract the best customers. According to Bankrate.com, it's all about staging.
Here are Bankrate's tips for presenting your home in the best way to snag those winter buyers:
Keep walkways and driveways clear of snow and ice. You may not have to mow the lawn or trim the shrubs, but in the winter, consider this duty your "yard work."
Present a warm and cozy home. Make sure the temperature is comfortable and not too cool for visitors coming in from the outside. Turn on gas fireplaces if you have them. Show during "high-daylight" hours and make your home as light as possible.
Clean blinds and curtains and keep them open during daytime showings. Put the highest wattage bulbs in amps and fixtures, and turn the lights on when you show. And wash your windows — even a little bit of grime gives the impression that the home isn't well cared for.
Set the mood with a little soft background music and some pleasant smells. Light a few candles that give off a nice scent, such as vanilla. Just don't overdo it — you don't want people to think you're trying to mask a bad smell.
Ask prospective buyers to remove their shoes or slip on paper booties over them. Doing so shows buyers that you are proud of your home and take meticulous care of it. Emphasize the features of your home that make it a good place to live in the winter. If your roads are regularly plowed and de-iced, be sure to make it known.