TORONTO – Around this time of year, just after the holidays, many potential GTA home sellers ask their real estate agent whether it’s best to wait until summer to list their home.
Quite to the contrary, listing and showing your home during the winter months can be a great move – those coming to browse your house or condo will generally be serious buyers who have braved the cold to get there. Besides, there is a special charm to an interior that has been done up to look extra cozy during the cold months of January and February.
To celebrate the end of the Christmas holiday shopping frenzy and the start of another new year, we proudly present the top five secrets to hosting the very best winter-time open house or home showing:
- Clear your path, driveway and sidewalk! You don’t want to have to worry about the potential deal-breaker of a buyer slipping and falling on your property. Get out there as soon as possible after a snowfall and get rid of any snow covering your paths and walkways. Make sure to apply some sand or salt to paths – if you don’t, that thin layer of base snow may harden into ice and cause a hazard.
- Start at the doorway. Inside, you want to make sure that your open house or showing guests have an easily visible and accessible mat on which they can put their wet shoes and boots. If the precipitation outside is closer to rain than snow, it’s also a great idea to set out a bin for umbrellas.
- Splurge on heating. Set the thermostat one or two degrees higher than you would usually have it set for yourself. You can switch it back after the showing, but the extra warmth will make your guests feel comfortable and at-home – especially if the weather outside is very chilly.
- Consider setting out seasonal food and drinks. During the winter, you really want visitors to feel welcome – why stop at the usual bags of chips and bottled water? Set a crockpot to heat up a butternut squash-based soup just before your open house starts, and set that out with some disposable soup bowls. Pair that with tortilla sections for dipping, hot cocoa and apple cider for the kind of seasonal nostalgia that will make buyers feel comfortable, cozy and attached to your home.
- Illuminate everything. Winter months tend to see less daylight, so it’s a smart move to turn on every light in your home if you’re expecting buyers to drop by. Pull all the curtains and drapes fully open to enhance the effect. If you’re doing showings at dusk or during the evening, consider investing in a porch light that will turn on automatically when visitors walk up the front pathway.
The whole trick to a great winter showing is making sure your visitors envision your property as a place they can come home to and enjoy even when the weather outside is chilly and unwelcoming. With a little bit of effort and imagination, you can use that to your advantage! Your REALTOR can help provide even more tips on getting ready for an open house or showing, whether it is taking place during the winter or any other time of the year.