Sellers who highlight their home’s coziest winter features can stand out in what is traditionally considered a slower time for sales, according to a new analysis from Zillow released Monday.

Homes may be tougher to sell during the winter, but new research from Zillow released Monday showcases key steps a seller can take in order to stand out.

Sellers are traditionally less eager to list during the winter, well aware of the drop in demand that occurs between the still-busy fall and the red-hot spring home markets.

But for some sellers looking to buy their next home at the same time, listing in this period might be worth the tradeoff, according to the report.

Those sellers might just consider the extra preparation that could vault their listing to the top of more buyers’ winter lists — including weather-related projects they might otherwise put off.

“Your home should be safe and welcoming for all buyers, so be prepared for winter weather in your local area,” Landro said in the report.

Above all, think “cozy” when staging a home for a crop of winter buyers, according to the report. Below, five takeaways from Zillow’s report.

Cozy listing descriptions and photos

If you’re selling a home that has winter-friendly features, show them off in both the listing description and the photos. Listings on Zillow that mentioned keywords like “heated floor” or “radiant heat” sold for 3.2 percent more than expected.

That advantage was based on an analysis of listings throughout 2020, so it’s good advice year-round. But it stands to reason these cozy features, such as fireplaces and winterized garages, may be even more attractive to buyers during the frigid months of winter, Zillow argues.

Don’t neglect ‘online curb appeal’

Sellers should also emphasize their listing’s “online curb appeal,” the report argues. 

“Around 95% of buyers now use online tools in their home search, and in the winter months, fewer home shoppers are inclined to spend chilly weekends touring open houses,” the report reads. “Instead, they winnow down their options from the comfort of their living room.”

On Zillow’s platform, 3-D virtual home tours have been particularly successful at driving eyes to a listing. Listings with this feature attracted 45 percent more views and 57 percent more saves than other home listings.

Mind the weather

In the report, Jennifer Landro of Wisconsin’s Landro Fox Cities Realty says homes listed during winter should be adequately prepared for cold weather.

That can include outdoor projects that take some advance planning — such as shoveling snow in areas with colder climates.

Indoor lighting is crucial

But it can also include indoor considerations during a season when natural light is harder to come by.

“As the days get shorter, keep your house light and bright, even during the daytime,” Landro said in the report. “Having all the window coverings open and all the lights on is just as important during the day as it is at night during the winter. Create a welcoming mood right from the start by having good exterior lights for a bright first impression and to guide buyers into your home.”

Sellers should make efforts to extend lighting into every corner of the home, if possible. Seasonal — but subtle — scents can also help lend an impression that this home is a cozy place to live during the winter.

And don’t forget about the fireplace

If the home doesn’t have a fireplace, playing a fireplace video on the TV screen can create a similar feeling, the report argues.

Email Daniel Houston

Show Comments Hide Comments

Comments

Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Success!
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription
×