Spring is the best time to sell your home, but it's not always possible to put your home on the market then. Make selling your place during the other three seasons of the year a little smoother with these clever tips.

By Daniel Bortz
Updated September 13, 2018
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Late spring is the best time to sell your home: There's a good chance you'll make top dollar on your place and sell it more quickly since summer is the most popular time to move, according to research from the U.S. Census Bureau.In fact, prices on homes sold in spring 2018 soared to a record high of $269,000 on average, up 5.3 percent from the previous year, the National Association of Realtors reports. But if you need to put your place on the market during another time of year—say, winter, because of a job transfer—how can you still sell your house for what it’s worth (and maybe even a bit more), even when the market isn’t as hot? Keep reading for five secrets for selling your home during the slow season.

Selling a Home in the Slow Season tips house for sale
Credit: Don Mason/Getty Images

Style your home for the season.

Start with the outdoors by plantingpopular seasonal flowers (such as chrysanthemums and pansies in the fall) in your front yard. In the fall or winter, hang a festive wreath on your front door, or place pumpkins on your porch.

To bring seasonal cheer indoors when staging your home, consider adding accessories like pillows or blankets (in bright red or orange for fall and winter or cooler colors for summer) or sprucing up your kitchen by placing a tray of cinnamon sticks or a bowl of lemons on the counter. Scents and fragrances, like apple and pumpkin in fall and winter or fresh cotton and linen in summer, can also entice home buyers during open houses.

Make sure there’s plenty of natural light.

As winter approaches and days get shorter, homes get less natural light. The good news is you can counteract these effects by replacing heavy window treatments with lightweight curtains and installing high-wattage light bulbs. Another way to banish gloom is by hanging mirrors, which help reflect natural light.

Maximize your home’s curb appeal.

Dead leaves, tree branches, and other debris on your lawn can kill your home’s curb appeal, so rake on a daily basis. Also, trim hedges and trees—and give special attention to overgrown vegetation that could block the windows or path to the entrance. Give your front door a fresh coat of paint to help it pop amongst all that well-groomed foliage and re-stain, paint, or pressure wash your patio or front porch.

Related: The Essential Upgrades That Will Help You Make More Money When You Sell Your Home

Build a fire pit in your backyard.

A cozy fireplace certainly creates a pleasant atmosphere, but don’t stop there. Fire pits are one of the most popular outdoor design elements, a recent survey from the American Society of Landscape Architects found, and they’re perfect for enjoying the outdoors on cool evenings. They’re also relatively cheap to install: The average cost to build a fire pit is $700, but the project can run as low as $300, HomeAdvisor reports.

Insulate the attic.

Fall and winter home buyers are particularly attuned to issues related to heating, especially when drafts are noticeable during showings. As a result, insulating your attic can make your home more appealing. It can also boost your home’s value, since loose-fill attic insulation yields a 107.7 percent return on investment, according to data from Remodeling magazine.

Related: These Words Could Help Your House Sell Faster—and for More Money