Selling Your Home in the Winter

Turn on the Heat

Make sure the temperature is comfortable and warm, especially on a cold day—potential buyers may stay longer. If you have a fireplace, a chilly afternoon is the perfect time to use it.

Consider Lighting

Make sure all visible computers and televisions are turned off or dimmed. The key is to use a combination of natural and artificial light to create a space that appears more open. Open the curtains and blinds, and even turn on closet lights. It’s best to avoid nighttime showings in the winter, but if you must, set timers on outdoor lights.

Seasonal Interior Decorating

  • Set the dining room table with your best set of dishes—it’s a great way to get buyers to imagine themselves sitting down for dinner or having company.

  • Place winter flowers such as poinsettias or begonias in vases around the house

  • Incorporate throws or afghans on the furniture.

  • Create a relaxed mood by having classical or jazz music playing in the background, as long as it’s not distracting. Avoid holiday music, which many find repetitive.

  • During open houses or private showings, consider serving foods that are appropriate for the weather, like hot cocoa or soup.

  • Some sellers even have photos of their home on display that were taken in the summer—this allows you to show off landscaping or a garden that buyers would otherwise not be aware of.

  • If raining or snowing, make sure to have a large doormat close to the front door with plenty of shoe-covers so that you and potential buyers don’t track in dirt or water.

Maintain a Cheery Exterior

If you live in a colder climate, make sure to shovel your sidewalks and driveway often, or consider hiring a local service to do so. The goal is to have your home appear as inviting and welcoming as possible to potential buyers, and a driveway covered with inches of snow may discourage some.

Decorative wreaths or other arrangements can also brighten up your home’s exterior—just make sure you use seasonal decorations sparingly.

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