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Tips to Sell Your House in the Winter

Posted Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Aside from real estate market fluctuations hindering house sales, seasonal changes can also present challenges. Winter is certainly not the best time to try and sell your house, especially with the drab foliage and icy conditions that prevail. However, there are steps you can take to optimize your home's appeal when showing it to prospective buyers.

- Make sure the path from the street and/or driveway to the front door is cleared of all snow and ice. Apply a layer of sand or ice-melting product on the entire length of the path, steps, and porch.

- Turn the heat up. In addition to providing comforting warmth on a winter day, it also precludes the heating system from jump starting while the potential buyer is there. This is particularly important if the heating system starts up loudly. That noise may turn some buyers off, so it's better to turn the heat on.

- If you have a fireplace, fire it up. A fireplace is charming and may very well be the reason why you can subsequently say "it helped me sell my house."

- Add as much light as possible in all rooms to allow a clear view of everything. Open up the drapes and turn on all the lights, even the ones in closets and storage spaces. If necessary, add accent lighting in areas that are dark or shadowy.

- Create an inviting ambiance. Be creative and a bit elegant. Consider placing a bottle of wine, two glasses, and a tray of cheese and crackers on the living room coffee table. Some charming throws or hand crafted blankets tossed on the back of a rocking chair or couch is appealing and suggests comfort, warmth, and homeyness.

- Add some charm to each room with a bouquet of fresh winter flowers in a cheery vase, pitcher, or creative flower holder.

- Set up your dining room table with a dinner setting for two. Don't be afraid to use your most expensive china and silverware. It helps to create an inviting atmosphere.

- Soft music is good. CDs of classical or light jazz is recommended. Don't use the radio because the interruption of commercials detracts from the mood.

- Spruce up your bathroom with a couple plush robes, some gift shop style soaps, and a few hand/body lotions.

- If you plan on baking some cookies to serve, select cookies that give off an aroma typical of winter. The delightful scents of cinnamon, peppermint, and nutmeg are perfect.

If I was going to sell my house, I would make it as appealing as possible. I would make sure the windows, dishes, floors, walls, and all surfaces are clean. You want the buyer to see how wonderful it will be to live in the house.

Winter may not be the ideal time to try and sell your house but with some thought to details you can still present your house in its best light.