Setting the stage for selling in winter

With the holiday season and chilly weather making house hunting less appealing, wintertime is — to say the least — a challenging time to put your home on the market.That said, if you do the right things, you can sell your home — it’s just a matter of making it stand out above the competition.Here are some tips designed to help you sell your home this winter.
 1. Enlist the services of a REALTOR®. Working with an experienced Realtor will enable you to develop a game plan that will showcase your home in the best possible light during the winter months. They have the knowledge and connections required to make your home shine.
 2. List your home at the right price! Resist the urge to price your home for what you think it’s worth. If your Realtor says it should be listed at a certain price — a price far lower than you visualized — listen to them. They’re the expert and know where the house needs to be priced for it to sell in the shortest time possible.
 3. Showcase the home properly online. “These days, 93 per cent of home buyers shop online before looking at a home,” says interior decorator/stager Kelly Penuita. “Make sure pictures are taken by a professional photographer to provide proper visuals and don’t be afraid to invest in the services of a stager — they can make your home shine inside and out.”
 4. Ensure prospective buyers can find your home. “Buyers will often drive by your home first to take a look, often at night,” adds Penuita. “Make sure all exterior lights are bright to showcase the house and illuminate its number. If buyers can’t see and identify your home, they won’t return to come and look through it.”
 5. Maximize curb appeal. “Your home’s curb appeal must be on point to entice people to go through it,” notes Penuita. “Make sure to shovel your driveway and all walkways and ensure they’re ice-free. And don’t have rows of snow in front of the driveway or sidewalks. Accessibility is the first step in getting people to look at your home.”
 6. Create an inviting interior. Doing this often involves depersonalizing your home, says Penuita. “Make entryways inviting, take big pieces of furniture out of rooms to improve flow and space and put away pictures and personal items. Doing these things reduces visual stimulation. That allows people to appreciate the architectural features of your property and visualize living in the home.”
 7. Have a neutral interior colour backdrop. In short, too many colours scare people. “Paint your home’s interior with neutral colors. Doing that will give them a blank slate to work with.”
 8. Do decorate your home to embody the holiday season. Tasteful decorations will allow buyers to visualize the home in holiday mode — a warm, inviting time. Add pumpkin muffins and warm, spiced drinks to the mix to add to the inviting ambience. Carry holiday colours and decorations through the home to add warmth.
 9. Remember, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. “Visuals are extremely important,” Penuita says. “You want buyers to find your home, then you want to make them feel welcome when they come to view it. If it’s neat, tidy, inviting and well-kept, the home will stand out and you’ll have done everything you could do to help it sell.”If you showcase your home properly and list it at the right price — it always pays to listen to your Realtor — chances are good that you will eventually find the right buyer for your home this winter!

By Todd Lewys