Some people like the cold weather. But when the great white outdoors reaches temperatures of -15 or colder, even fewer people are happy to be out and about. There are options to give your home that warm feeling for potential buyers when it gets this cold. Keep in mind, buyers that are out looking this time of year, specially in the extreme cold weather, are likely serious buyers. Help them feel the warmth of your home and they might just envisage moving right in.
1. Adjust the Thermostat: Before that scheduled showing or Open House, adjust the heat, just a little bit. We often keep the heat slightly lower while at home to keep our costs down and will simply add clothing to keep us warm. Given our visitors may not be dressed in parkas and flannel, we suggest warming it up. While we don’t suggest that you crank the heat, you should turn it up enough so your potential buyers feel warm inside. This invites them to stay a little longer to have a good look around. Buyers who feel a chill may not be comfortable and won’t stay long.
2. Light A Fire: If you have a fireplace – wood burning, gas or electric – light it up! It makes the house warmer and cozier. Imagine your potential buyers seriously considering making an offer on your home. They may just increase that offer if the conversation with their Realtor is done standing in front of a warm and cozy fire. Candles can have the same effect, as long as they can be done safely in your home.
3. Let the Sun Shine: Encourage showings during daylight hours. Open up all your (freshly cleaned) window coverings, and turn on all the lights in the home with the brightest bulbs your fixtures can safely manage. Potential buyers are often looking for a bright home with tons of light. These small things can make your home shine!
4. Wash The Windows: This is often seen as the first step in “spring cleaning” but it should not be overlooked when selling your home in the colder months either. With your open window coverings, buyers will be looking out those windows and we don’t want them seeing dog mucus, fingerprints and of course winter grime. We want buyers to see your home as extremely well maintained and this little detail goes a long way.
5. Give it the Scent of Home: The smell of fresh baked bread, apple pie or chocolate chip cookies goes a long way to changing the perceptions of a house and give it that sense of home. Don’t overdo it of course, as too many scented wonders in your home could leave buyers wondering what you’re hiding in there (such as the snowy wet dog smell). Get rid of all those icky smells by throwing some cookies in the oven before a showing or burn some wonderfully scented candles or air fresheners.
6. Get Rid of the Ice: This is important. You don’t want these big, cold looking, warning signs to be the first thing potential buyers see. They not only remind people of how cold it is and make them worried about examining your home’s exterior due to potential dangers, but of course, they also signify heat loss in your home. Get rid of them and maybe add icicle lights in their place to warm up that cold exterior.
There are many things you can do but these small, simple things may do the trick to get buyers to stay in your home just a little longer than they did the one before. This is exactly what you want because often, the longer they stay the more they begin to feel like they’re home.
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Real Estate Sales Representative
Century 21 Choice Realty, Sault Ste. Marie, ON