Winning with a Winter Home Sale

February 06, 2024

While many choose to sell their home in the spring or summer to tap into warm, sunny weather, for some, that is not possible. Whatever the reason for relocation, a successful home sale during North Carolina’s colder months is easily achievable. With a bit of creativity, flexibility, and proper preparation, homes that hit the market in the winter are quite often met by the welcoming arms of potential home buyers. The Rodney Carroll Team is at the ready to assist in your home sale–snow or sunshine!

Perhaps the best reason to sell a home in the winter months is decreased inventory. As home sellers often wait for spring flowers to show themselves to hang that “For Sale” sign, those who opt for a winter sale are among the minority. The result? Creating a seller’s market simply by landing in a timeframe when fewer sale homes are available on the market.

To further increase the chance of a sale that goes faster than a toboggan, consider these recommendations:

Curb Appeal: Encourage buyers to exit the warmth of their car by offering a stunning first look.

  • Plan to clean up your yard more frequently as seasonal winds relieve trees of dead leaves and branches. While the grass may not be shimmering this season, keeping it cleared of debris creates the perfect sneak peek into its spring potential.
  • Snow may not be common in the Carolinas, but there’s always a chance. Grab a shovel! Snowy weather often gifts us with a few unexpected days at home. For buyers, this may be an ideal time to house hunt! Removing snow from your sidewalk and driveway will give them a gorgeous picture of their future home. If you don’t have one already, buy a snow shovel today.
  • Keep your house numbers visible at all times. Being able to identify your home easily eliminates frustration when a potential buyer is on the go.
  • Dated decor should be removed promptly. If the calendar says “February” but your outdoor decor says “December,” it’s time to make a change. Holiday decor is a wonderful way to accessorize but do so minimally and remove any holiday-specific items promptly. Choose outdoor decor that looks fresh and will withstand winter weather.
  • Outdoor lighting is important when showcasing your home’s exterior in winter months. With days darkening earlier, a few solar lights can prolong the spotlight on your home. Solar spotlights are beautiful and economical, and you will be able to take them with you!

Cozy and welcoming: Buyers coming in from the cold should feel like they are being wrapped in a favorite blanket:

  • As potential buyers explore your home, create an atmosphere that is warm and inviting. Think cozy! Your home should feel like a warm respite on a cold day. This is the perfect chance to highlight bonus features such as a fireplace, garden tub, or heated flooring. Where are your favorite spots to wait out the winter? Make sure potential buyers notice them.
  • Indoor lighting is important as well! Yes, the days are finally getting longer, but dusk is still quite dark. Invest in timers to ensure a bright and welcoming vibe for visitors. A bonus? Those driving by will immediately see your home’s charm!
  • Many homes now feature energy efficiency behind every wall. This is another highlight you must share with potential buyers. Often heard on home tours? “I wonder how much costs to heat this place?” If your home is host to high-grade insulation, a tankless water heater, a programable thermostat (or more!), make sure the specifics are included in marketing documents.
  • Stay ahead of maintenance! When selling your home in the winter, a non-functioning HVAC system or frozen pipes can quickly derail the process. Pay close attention to dropping temperatures and plan accordingly, including a full HVAC inspection before hitting the real estate market. Wrap interior pipes that touch outside walls, store outdoor hoses, and apply spigot covers.

Because of the unpredictable cadence of winter weather, home sellers do have to engage flexibility. Rescheduled showings are more likely in colder months due to illness or a pop-up round of sleet. Creating an easily accessible “tour tray” is a terrific way to welcome potential buyers on short notice. Include hot chocolate, cookies, and a box of tissues. You may request that home tours begin with visitors removing shoes. Kick it up a notch by providing inexpensive, reusable slippers at the door.

Thinking about a future sale? Start an album today of exterior home pictures in all seasons. The ability to showcase the beauty of your home year-round is the perfect way for potential buyers to fall in love and can be the hit of your “tour tray,” especially if you opt to sell in the winter.

Many home comps are based on the endless spring or summer sales but how does your home compare to winter sales? Remember, there is less inventory during chilly months, take advantage of that! The Rodney Carroll Team is ready to assist with strategic pricing, marketing, and more! No need to wait for temperatures to rise–get a head start on your home’s sale today!