Not too many families think the winter is an ideal time to sell their house, and understandably so. After all, many housing markets are located in cold climates with plenty of snowfall. The harsh realities of winter tend to force potential buyers to stay home and wait to find a house until the weather warms and the days are longer.

However, winter doesn't have to be a giant obstacle if you're looking to sell your house. You may face circumstances that demand selling your home during the cold months, such as a new job opportunity or promotion that requires a move. Whatever the case, you can rest easy that it is possible to sell your home and you can even use the winter to your advantage during showings.

Warm up the house

Potential buyers don't want to walk into a freezing house during a showing. As such, always keep your heat on and at a comfortable temperature. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends setting the thermostat at 68 degrees for optimal comfort.

You can also prevent heat from escaping and impress buyers if you take the time to locate sources of heating loss. These can include windows cracks and areas under the doors. Solutions to these issues are quick and can be completed in no time.

More difficult fixes may require the work of a professional, especially if your furnace is malfunctioning. If that's the case, consider upgrading to a unit that is relatively new. Doing so can help you negotiate closer to your asking price, as you've guaranteed the potential buyers they won't have any heating issues.

As always, if you make major upgrades to such an important part of the house, contact a home inspection company to ensure everything is working properly.

Don't forget the outside

Shoveling the outside of any house is common courtesy, and sometimes falls under state and city law. When showing your house, snow removal is one of the most important aspects. You want to make sure the attendees don't have an accidental slip walking up to the stairs.

Other important areas to remember shoveling include the driveway and portions of the backyard you want to show off. While snow may be on the ground, potential buyers likely still want to see every feature of the house. Make sure the patio and other backyard highlights are visible, according to Zillow.

Use the cold to your advantage

Every season provides unique factors to take advantage when showing a house. In the winter, the snow can add a visual element to curb appeal. You don't necessarily have to turn your house into the next winter wonderland, but keeping seasonal decorations outside, such as reefs, will catch the eyes of onlookers.

Other seasonal elements can include the indoor fireplace, if you have one. Check with your real estate agent before using it. If so, a fireplace will immediately add to ambiance.

As with the furnace, inspect your fireplace before the showing - this includes manual and electric fireplaces. Professionals can help with a cleaning or fixing out that needs to happen.

You may also want to consider accessories that are specific to winter, such as heavier blankets and throw pillows. Lighting will also play a big factor in afternoon showings, due in part to the sun setting earlier in the day.

Winter house showings are not impossible to pull off. Don't think of the cold as a detriment, but rather use it to your advantage. You just might be surprised how the cold turned out to be beneficial after you receive an offer.