Fall is here and winter is coming! So, does that mean it’s time to pack it in and start planning your goals for next year. No! As a real estate agent, now is a great time to help your clients buy or sell a house while all of the other Realtors get lazy! In this expert roundup, we’ve gathered top tips from Realtors all across the country on how to sell homes in colder months.
Below, you’ll see the kind of real estate agents you should be working with in the colder months because they know how to sell houses! Enjoy these top tips from the pros.
What’s are your Top Tips to Sell Homes in Colder Months?
These realtors shared with us their experience and referred to all the aspects mentioned above and more. You can read their opinions below.
In no particular order…
1. Mark Ferguson – InvestFourMore
1. Always have the heat up so the house is comfortable. Nothing turns a buyer off in the winter more than a cold house. Then they worry about insulation and the heating system.
2. Make sure the driveway and sidewalks are shoveled if there is snow.
3. Before winter sets in get the landscaping pruned and trimmed up.
4. Place a rug at the front door for people to wipe their feet. If you are okay with them wearing shoes leave a note or leave booties for them.
2. Shelly Place – TripleMint
Serious buyers are always looking, so a strong online presence and email marketing become even more critical at times when people are less likely to be out and about and stumble upon your listings.
In order to entice prospective buyers to view your place in person, make sure to make it as easy on them as possible by setting your open house times when other things are going on in the neighborhood and schedule them earlier in the day when it’s still light out.
3. James McGrath – Yoreevo
I think a great tip is to have a warm snack of some kind for your open houses – hot chocolate, cookies in the oven, etc. The longer you can get buyers to hang around your open house, the more likely they are to buy and nobody is going to want to go outside when there’s warm hot chocolate inside!
4. Daniel Federowicz – TripleMint
It’s no secret that real estate is seasonal, and more homes will generally sell in the spring and summer months, but homes will still sell in the winter. Make sure that your home is staged appropriately. Neutral and inoffensive colors always work best, and unscented candles can create a warm, cozy feeling. A few splashes of color can make your home more inviting as well. If you have a gas or electric fireplace, make sure it is turned on.
Go easy on the seasonal decor. People expect to see holiday decorations, but too many Christmas trees could turn buyers off.
Clean your windows, and make sure your blinds are pulled back. With the shorter days and sometimes dreary weather, filling your space with natural light will make it feel more inviting.
Turn up the heat! When buyers are coming in off of the street to see your listing, at the very least they would like to warm up. This inspires more buyers linger around, giving them a chance to fall in love with your home. It will also let them know that the home is well insulated and energy efficient.
5. Coretta McKinney – More Options Realty
Some tips for selling homes in colder moths:
- Keep a flashlight in your car
- Keep a shovel in the car
- Keep your phone fully charged.
- Days are shorter.
- Go into the office earlier.
- Stay upbeat. Homes still sell in winter.
6. Alison Bernstein – Suburban Jungle
-Holidays are a time when people think family— and the thought of spending the Holidays in what is staged to be a holiday happy home is very enticing for many buyers! Remember, while many buyers might be out of town (as well as sellers) during holiday season… those that are saving up for a home might decide to spend the time local and house hunt! Both to discover new inventory, find the personality of the town during this festive time as well as save money!
-Don’t overdo it. Potential buyers don’t need to head to the North Pole to get a sense that you celebrate Xmas. Keep decorations tasteful and not overbearing!
-Make the home smell good. Holiday treats always do the trick if you can hack that!
-Use this time to declutter; making room for new holiday gifts. Heading into the New Year is a great time to organize and get rid of seasonal items. For example golf clubs don’t need to be by the front door and bikes can be stored away.
7. Kathleen Gauden – Kathleen Gauden Real Estate
It usually does not get super cold in CA, but what I ask my client’s to do when listing their home is the following:
- Clean windows and screens before snow hits
- Professionally clean carpet early on so it has time to dry
- Stack wood neatly by fireplace or woodstove as I will likely light it when I show the property
- Have pleasant music playing–Alexa makes this easy–or I bring my own
- I use doTERRA essential oils with a Xmas blend or cinnamon oil in my diffuser when I hold open houses. These are nontoxic, wildcrafted or organic, and very inviting. Unlike the plugin chemicals or candles with synthetic smells, which makes many people sick because they are a chemical and cause health problems.
- Remove dog/cat bowls if possible
- Ask guests to take shoes off before coming in
- Have house professionally staged or at least put out some warm blankets on chairs, couches, end of the bed.
- Put out inviting books (opened) maybe about Fall/Winter months in the area. If in MI a big book with beautiful pictures of MI.
8. JJ Choi – TripleMint
Most people tend to be in better moods when the sun is out. So how do you sell a home in the colder months? Make the prospective buyers feel at home and warm them up by offering a hot beverage such as coffee or hot apple cider to fight off the winter blues.
9. Michael Kelczewski – Brandywine Fine Properties SIR
Emphasize digital marketing channels to draw prospects. Open houses are great during warmer periods, however the lack of daylight compounded by in-climate weather decreases foot traffic. Create a large sales funnel to capture a wide audience.
10. Kristina McCann – The Highland Partners
Where I live and sell, which is a very family oriented community, one Realtor became quite well known for ‘Christmas Eve Open Houses’. The theme was simple: get everyone in the door while kids, grandkids, uncles, aunts and friends and family are in town to visit. The house would be decked out and cider was served. Since it was the only open house in town, it was a novelty and very, very, very well attended. I’m looking forward to an opportunity to have a holiday open house myself!
11. Marcel Finkelstein – Marcel Finkelstein Fine Homes and Estates
This winter it is expected for the market to be much slower in movement. All agents are looking for a strong spring. Some colleagues in different agencies have said that they feel like they made their money for 2018, and focusing on their vacation.
I on the other hand, will never stop working no matter how cold, rainy, or snowy. I continue making my cold calls and warm calls. Buyers and sellers want human interaction too, and they will hear my voice with follow up. Every agency sends out holiday cards, and its so generic, and great to toss in the garbage.
Now, to sell homes in the colder months, you have to be out there where the people are. It might not be open houses with blizzards outside. But everyone will be on social media posting pictures of them in front of their Christmas trees. I will be right there in their news feed showing beautiful homes available now, not next year.
Customers will be warm and comfy on their phones and laptops at home viewing properties, but the second they step out to get their holiday shopping, is when they will be also viewing my properties, ready to buy, and start the new chapter in their lives, with the new year approaching.
Some Final Words
Thanks so much to all the realtors that shared with us their advice for how to sell homes in colder months! We hope now you know what you have to do and it will be easier and less stressful to search for your dream home.
If you need help buying or selling a house in Cincinnati, please contact Team Sztanyo. We are helping families find their way home … even when it’s cold outside!