Selling a home is a complex process to navigate in and of itself. The matter becomes even trickier when you add cold weather into the mix. Homeowners looking to increase their chances of selling their house for a fair price this winter need to be aware of a few specific tips and tricks to keep in mind when selling during these cold months.

So which methods of getting a fair price during the winter season are more effective than others? Below, 11 members of Forbes Real Estate Council share their own strategies for getting the highest prices for a wintery house sale.

1. Think Strategically About Pricing

Price it right to get serious buyers in the door. And you always want to put your best foot forward, especially so when there’s a challenge. It’s counterintuitive but spaces feel smaller without furniture, not bigger, so I recommend staging it rather than showing it empty. – Deborah Rabbino Bhatt, Vesta New York

2. Keep The House Warm

The most dispiriting part of showing homes over the holidays is viewing those where the heat has been turned down, or even off in some vacant homes. If a house is cold because a seller wants to save a few hundred dollars, buyers won’t stay to appreciate the tens of thousands of dollars in upgrades to the kitchen or bath; they’re in and out and on to either their warm cars or the next warm house. – Jessica PankratzTown & Country Realty

3. Create An Inviting Space

The winter months can be a difficult time to make a good presentation. The exterior of your home never has quite the curb appeal it tends to have in the warmer months. My advice for sellers is to make your home as warm and inviting as possible. If empty, consider staging. Make a fire. Bake some cookies. Have a pot of coffee waiting. Turn the heat up. You want them to stay as long as possible. – Justin Bailey, Bailey & Co. Real Estate

4. Keep Seasonal Decorations At A Minimum

The holidays can be anything but slow as any good real estate agent will tell you. While it’s true many people are off from work and on vacation, those who stick around tend to be serious buyers. Sellers should not fear listing their home around the holidays, as long as it is priced appropriately and the home is kept neat and tidy. Keep seasonal decorations at a minimum for optimal effect. – Elizabeth Ann Stribling-Kivlan, Stribling & Associates

5. Celebrate The Holidays Inside And Out

Holiday decorations can add joy and warmth to your home inside and out. Consider seasonal decor and lights to invite buyers into your home. Open the blinds to let in natural light and turn on all lights. Adding a few simple tasteful decorations outside as well can brighten up your home in the dead of winter. Don’t forget to shovel and clear a path so buyers can safely make it into the front door. – Joshua LyboltLifstyl Real Estate

6. Keep An Eye On Other Listings

With fewer homes on the market, there can actually be increased competition in the winter months for the truly desirable properties. Keep an eye on other listings in the area to know what you are up against. Decluttering, staging and making the home look as photogenic and presentable as possible will be critical to attracting the most buyers. –Beatrice de Jong, Open Listings (YC W15)

7. Utilize Competitive Labour Rates

Homeowners should utilize the winter months to get discounted contract work done on their property, thus making it more attractive to potential buyers at any point in the year, especially winter. – Ali Jamal, Stablegold Hospitality LLC

8. Focus On Curb Appeal

Owners should be aware of how the exterior of their home looks during the winter months. A colorful wreath on the front door, some greenery around the entrance and the curtains open are all some of the tips I present my sellers. I also encourage them to purchase a few potted bulb planters for the house. Bringing a little spring and color into the house works wonders. –Tanya Delahoz, Dwell Summit

9. Think Year-Round, Not By Season

Sophisticated purchasers can look past current weather-based conditions as long as the property’s unique attributes are properly positioned. Landscape, architecture and orientation of views can all be used as strong selling points. It’s important to highlight the lifestyle amenities onsite that provide a year-round advantage to the property. – Cody Vichinsky, Bespoke Real Estate

10. Price It Right

Successful real estate agents know that whatever the season, the key to selling a house is accurate pricing. The weather may be bad but if it’s simply cold or snowy outside, put on the fireplace, bake cookies in the oven, have the sidewalks ice free, stage an open house and make sure the house is listed properly with a market analysis. Pricing it below market will generate more buyers. – Rita Santamaria, Champions School of Real Estate

11. Install Energy-Saving Features

Winter is when features such as solar panels or other renewable energy items will impress buyers most. If your home is “smart,” tout that techie energy-saving programmable thermostat and lighting that you control with a phone or tablet. Amenities such as radiant heated floors, heated garages and passive energy savers such as 2 x 6 construction and insulation with high R values are proven winners. – Joe Houghton, RE/MAX Results/The Minnesota Property Group Team

Source: forbes.com ~ By Forbes Real Estate Counsel ~ Image: pixabay.com

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