How to Ignite Success During Winter Home Showings

Don’t let the season dampen your resolve.

Winter is a dreary time for home sales, but the added challenge doesn’t mean you should abandon hope. If you take these guidelines to heart, you can melt down seasonal difficulties to ignite your property’s appeal.

Caution: Slippery When Wet

If your market is plagued by snow during winter, make client safety a top priority. After all, nobody wants to buy a property tied to memories of skidding on an ice patch and face planting into concrete.

Make sure the main path and sidewalk are shoveled and salted. Also consider going the extra mile by clearing the section of road or driveway where prospects will park. Any efforts made to prevent guests from having to plunge their shoes into slushy muck will be appreciated.

Be extra diligent when checking porch steps, as they often present the greatest threat. And don’t forget to clear the railing! You don’t want visitors refusing the extra support just to avoid a wet hand.

Season’s Greetings (From Your Repairman)

Certain problems may only reveal themselves during the colder months. For example, for all your shoveling efforts, you can’t guarantee a completely dry walkway. How will you prevent clients who’ve just scuffled through slosh from tracking messes inside your perfectly staged home?

Asking people to remove their shoes can make them uncomfortable. But if you absolutely insist on this route, have pairs of cheap, new slippers at the ready so guests don’t have to walk around in socks.

A better solution is buying disposable shoe covers that your prospects can easily slip into. Be sure to wear a pair yourself—you don’t want anyone thinking their agent has double standards.

Don’t forget to check out potential problems with the home itself, either. Has harsh weather revealed leaks in the roofing? Is the heater functioning properly? Are the pipes in working order?

It’s also notoriously difficult for people to picture the full beauty of a home when they’re only seeing it nestled between grey skies and leafless trees. Be sure to have photos of the location from spring or summer, so they can better visualize the home’s potential curb appeal.

Today’s Forecast: Cozy with a Side of Cocoa

Contrast is an effective design philosophy for a reason. By implementing this visual trick, you can make your property stand out as a beacon of warmth in the middle of winter’s gloom.

Illuminate your house, both inside and out. Open all blinds and curtains, so your home’s inner glow pours onto the yard below. And remember to light any fireplaces to create a toasty atmosphere.

Another way to capitalize on the season’s strengths is by preparing warm beverages ahead of time—coffee, cider, or hot cocoa can all be great ways to woo your clients. Since there are fewer prospects to entice during the season, it makes the logistics of purchasing and preparing these drinks much more feasible.

Last but certainly not least, don’t neglect proper décor. For tips on effective seasonal staging practices, check out our article, “The Dos and Don’ts of Holiday Staging.”

It’s the Most Wonderful Stressful Time of the Year

For most people, the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s are stacked with travel and family time, with a few shopping sprees sprinkled in. It’s important you don’t get discouraged if there’s less interest than usual during this five-week stretch. Going through the lengthy and stressful process of purchasing a home is typically low on everyone’s holiday wish list.

If you can, provide extra flexibility. Things pop up for people, appointments get cancelled, and showings need rescheduling. It’s easy to become frustrated by these inconveniences, but try killing your clients with kindness instead. Doing your best to work on their timeframe can go a long way in boosting your reputation.

Rekindle Your Motivation

Even the most seasoned real estate veteran can’t make home sales rain down like snow during a blizzard, but success can be found if you play to the seasonal strengths—especially since prospects who show interest during winter are usually more serious about buying.

Don’t lose your motivation. Leverage every trick in your arsenal, and go close some deals.

This article is for general information purposes only.

CITATIONS

Corbett, Michael. “8 Tips For A Winning Winter Open House.” Trulia. N.p., 10 December 2015. Web. 22 November 2016.

McKeough, Tim. “What Can I Do About Messy Foot Traffic During Winter Open Houses?” The New York Times. N.p., 14 January 2015. Web. 22 November 2016.

Wiebe, Jamie. “How to Sell Your Home in a Snowstorm—and Other Wonderful Winter Advice.” Realtor.com. N.p., 23 November 2015. Web. 22 November 2016.

Thorsby, Devon. “13 Things to Know About Selling Your Home in Fall and Winter.” U.S. News & World Report. N.p., 6 October 2016. Web. 22 November 2016.

Goforth, Jill. “The Dos and Don’ts of Holiday Staging.” Real Estate E&O Insurance Blog. Pearl Insurance, 10 November 2016. Web. 22 November 2016.

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