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How to Sell Your House in the Sluggish Winter Months

It’s not peak selling season, but these smart strategies will help you make sure your home looks good even when the weather is dreary. Here are a few tips to help you sell your home this season.

Crank up the heat

Cold houses don’t sell. If potential buyers shiver at your open house, they aren’t likely to stick around, let alone make an offer. This isn’t the time to save on the heating bill. Keep the thermometer at least at a steady 70 degrees. A cold house sends the wrong message. It doesn’t need to be hot; it needs to be not cold.

Get shoveling

Don’t let a little snow come between you and the next owner of your house. Get shoveling, and make sure the walkway is clear. If someone has to slip and slide their way into your house, you’ll lose the battle before they cross the front door.

Moreover, if you want buyers to attend your open house, make sure they have a place to park. This task can be challenging as snowbanks and drifts accumulate. Don’t clear just the driveway — shovel out some spaces on the street as well. While you are at it, make sure you don’t wind up with big piles of dirty snow near the front door. If they are concerned about breaking a leg, then they are not paying attention to your house in a good way.

Decorate, but don’t go overboard

Some Realtors suggest stripping a house of all holiday decorations to avoid turning off potential buyers. But that sends the wrong message. After all, buyers are trying to get a feel for whether your house could become their next home. If your house is cold, empty and sterile, that sends the wrong message.

This is not the time to go nuts with plastic lawn ornaments. It might be the season to stow Santa and his reindeer out of sight in your cellar. Better to focus on some lighter, classier touches, such as wrapping a garland around the banister on the stairs or putting up a wreath. It really makes the entryway pop.

Become a weather freak, and stay flexible

One thing you can’t control during the winter is the weather. It’s time to start tuning into The Weather Channel, at least while you’re trying to sell your house. When planning an open house, it’s better to be prepared for weather changes. If a big storm is headed your way, maybe it’s a good idea to reschedule for a new day or push a morning open house into the afternoon. Even if you can lure a few buyers out in the storm, a dark and dreary day is probably not the best backdrop for showing off your house.