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Spring is traditionally regarded as the season when eager home sellers spruce up their homes and put them on the market, increasing inventory levels for potential buyers. This year, however, the depressed state of the housing market has left a glut of unsold inventory lingering.

If you are one of the 4 million homeowners with a property listed for sale on Zillow, consider giving your home a winter face-lift.  There’s a ton of competition in the marketplace and your listings need to be in  tip-top shape — regardless of  unruly weather conditions and winter holidays.

5 Tips to Marketing Your Homes This Winter

1. Remove snow and ice.

If a buyer can’t easily park and access your property, it won’t sell.  Shovel, salt,  and tidy your walkway and driveway on a daily basis. If the home is vacant or you don’t have time, hire someone to do this on your behalf.

2. Create a warm atmosphere — and turn on the heat.

If you know a buyer is coming through, turn up the thermostat. It’s tempting to skim on heat to save a few pennies, but buyers who come in and aren’t comfortable (aka: cold) won’t stay long. To create additional ambiance during an open house, throw a log on the fire or turn on the gas fireplace.

3. Light it up.

Use timers and technology to your advantage to make the home feel lived in. Install motion sensors to light up a driveway in the evening, and program indoor lamps to automatically turn lights on in the evenings. Another trick to create an instant mood is to tune the radio to the local classical station. The soft music is welcoming and soothing to buyers.

4. Limit seasonal decorations.

When it comes to decorating, there’s a fine line between festive and tacky. A few tasteful winter wreaths and dried arrangements are OK, but an inflatable Santa in the yard mid-February is not. Decorating not your thing? Hire a home stager and remember the golden rule, “less is more.”

5. Showcase seasonal listing photos

Since buyers won’t be able to fully appreciate your  landscaping or outdoor pool during the winter, show them an album of photographs taken during the warm months  when everything is in full bloom and the pool looks enticing. If all your listing photos are taken during the snowy winter months, swap them out with a fresh set come spring.

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