Winter is traditionally a slower time for home sales, but don't despair. Here are a few ways the timing might play in your favor.

1. Buyers tend to be more motivated
Buyers looking for homes are doing so because they really must relocate due to job, family or other unavoidable circumstances. You'll probably waste less time dealing with real estate tire-kickers.

2. Things move faster
Because there are fewer transactions during the winter, mortgage companies, home inspectors and appraisers have less on their plates. You should be able to schedule appointments sooner and expect faster turnaround for reports and approvals than in the busy warmer seasons.

3. You can leverage the smaller inventory
With fewer homes on the market, it can be easier to promote your property's comparative advantages. Highlight your home's unique features. Are you the only townhome within walking distance of downtown? The only split-level with a pool in your school district? Be sure to mention it in your listing.

4. Summer buyers are looking now
Not everyone looking in the winter must move immediately. Your Realtor may have ideas about how to market your home among local businesses and organizations with fluid populations, such as universities, or via school district websites that might attract families moving to the area.

5. You can remind buyers of warmer weather
Be sure to include images of your home during greener summer months, including lifestyle shots of your deck, patio, porch and/or yard. Feature these photos in a frame during showings to remind buyers how the home can come alive in the spring.

An experienced agent who knows your unique market and the current inventory can paint a more specific picture of what listing your property in the winter will be like. Find one here.