Dare I say it? Winter is coming but with the year we've have so far in Barrie and surrounding area for real estate, it's likely to remain hot even through the colder months ahead. Winter presents its own unique set of challenges. Often times it's not looked at as the ideal time to put your home on the market especially since rain, snow and cold don't make moving easy and doesn't necessarily showcase a homes exterior qualities. However, there are steps you can take to brighten your home and make the showing pleasant and enjoyable for your buyers.
1) Clear a path, you want potential buyers to safely get in to view your home so they don't have a negative attitude before they even get through the front door.
- Continually shovel a path through the snow, especially if snowflakes are still falling.
- Footprints on freshly fallen snow will turn to ice if the temperature is low enough, so scrape the walk.
- Sprinkle a layer of sand or salt over the sidewalk and steps to ensure your buyers' stable footing.
- Remember to open a path from the street to the sidewalk so visitors aren't forced to crawl over snowdrifts.
- If it's raining, put a rubber mat by the front door or a container to hold wet umbrellas and shoes.
2) Light it up! The days are shorter in the winter months and it's tough to showcase every aspect of your home when natural light isn't there to brighten up the place.
- Pull up the blinds, open the shutters, push back the drapes on every window.
- Turn on every light in the house, including appliance lights and closet lights.
- Brighten dark rooms with few windows by placing spotlights on the floor behind furniture.
3) Turn on the Heat
- Pump up that thermostat. It's better to heat the house a degree or two warmer than usual and then set the temperature at normal. This prevents the heat from kicking on when the buyer is present, because some HVAC systems are loud.
- You want the temperature inside to be comfortable and to give the buyer more of a reason to linger, especially on a cold day.
- Light the fireplace, but open the damper, place a grate in front of it and don't leave it unattended for very long. You don't want your house to catch fire!
4) Create a mood since a lot more time and energy of the buyer will be spent inside while they are viewing your home.
- Make your living room appear romantic by placing two champagne glasses near a champagne bucket on the coffee table.
- Toss afghans or throws across the arms of your sofa.
Turn your bathroom into a spa:
- Hang plush robes.
- Roll up wash cloths, tie with a ribbon and place in a basket on the counter.
- Set up a grouping of soaps, lotions and shampoo.
- Place vases filled with winter flowers around the house.
- Set a breakfast tray on the bed containing a coffee cup, saucer, napkin, rolled-up newspaper.
- Dress your dining room table for a dinner for two.
5) Let them know what it's like in the summer months.
- Hang pictures that display your gardens and the beauty of the warmer months.
- Shovel any deck or patio space in the backyard to allow potential buyers to see what they're working with.
Again, selling in the winter months do pose some challenges but also has positives as there is usually less competition and there is always going to be someone out there looking for a home; rain (snow) or shine!