Selling Your Guelph Home in the Winter

Selling a Guelph Home in the WinterBaby, it’s cold outside. Yes, winter is here But… homes in Guelph still have to get bought and sold on a daily basis. Here are a few pointers for those of you selling at this time of year.

First, I start with the basics: work with a Guelph Listing Agent who can guide you through all the steps needed to showcase your home in the best possible light… even when it’s forty below!

Start from the outside

I often liken the home-selling and home-buying process to dating. One way the two are similar? First impressions count. When someone pulls up in front of your home during a Guelph winter, here are some things to plan for:

  • Lighting. By even 4:30pm on a grey and dreary day, it’s dark outside. Consider boosting the lighting around your home. Certainly, put your outdoor light on a timer so that agents can see the lockbox, etc. But consider other aspects of lighting to showcase important elements (i.e. backyard, walkways, garages.) In short, light it up, baby!
  • Snow Removal. Boy, I hate to wear practical shoes. If only home owners would shovel their walk ways I could retire my functional Sorels forever. As a home owner selling in a Guelph winter, you’ve simply got to stay on top of the snow. Clear paths to all doorways and make it easy for people to park and get in and out of your home.
  • Stay Current. If you’ve got white lights out that are for decoration and curb appeal / lighting, that’s great. But as for the inflatable Santascape… time to let that go after January 1. Never give buyers any reason to question your commitment to keeping your home looking its best.

Make the inside welcoming

Alright, your potential buyers have braved the cold and they are IN! Now what? Well, now it’s time to set the mood.

  • Boots ‘n Stuff. Your buyers will need to gear down a little bit. Everyone will be taking off boots and some people like to get comfy for showings – so a boot tray in plain view and even a place to hang coats are both good ideas. Note: Many Realtors include a sign asking people to remove their shoes. It’s a good idea.
  • Lighting. Basically, the same advice I’ve offered for the exterior applies here. Use timers where appropriate. Leave lamps on in rooms that are a bit on the darker side.
  • Temperature. Turn the heat up. Yes… just do it. Look – just like with the “wasteful” lighting being on when you aren’t home, this is a cost of doing business when you are selling a Guelph home in the winter. When prospective buyers come into your home, do you want them to feel a chill in the air? Of course not. Know that, for a short time while you are on market, your heating and lighting costs are going to rise marginally. (Note: If you’re lucky enough to have a gas or electric fireplace, consider leaving it on, too – for mood and to add an extra element of “cozy.”)
  • Seasonal Photos. Have a gorgeous garden? A palatial pool? They aren’t going to show very well during a Guelph winter. If you have some seasonal photos of the exterior attributes of your home, by all means leave them out to give buyers a chance to see what they could look forward to in a few months.

Some people will say that winter is a terrible time to sell a home. I don’t see it that way. Every January (and this one is no different,) we see homes go up for sale in Guelph and the competition for them is fierce.

So don’t “worry” about selling in the winter. Just Stage and sell your home strategically. Otherwise, you just might be leaving it to the buyer’s imagination… and that means you’re leaving money on the table.

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