Winter is a great time to play on the cozy home atmosphere that will attract a buyer. Removed from the action of the spring market winter provides a more relaxed time to sell. There’s less competition (fewer homes on the market). Yet people are still getting that new job, welcoming new family members and needing to scale up. Or they are not looking forward to the spring yard work and are thinking of downsizing. This happens year round.
In preparing your home for a viewing, there are four senses to keep in mind.
Make sure it is clean, organized, pretty. Many buyers have decided on their feelings about the home before they set foot inside.
- Exterior, ensure the curb appeal says “well cared for”. Eaves troughs are clean and doing their job, windows are sparkling, shrubs and branches that encroach on the walkway are trimmed back… and keep that walkway cleared of snow and ice! A wreath on the front door and Christmas lights and a garland hung on the door frame or front porch present a welcoming entry.
- Indoors, an old trick is to ensure clean floors. People will overlook dust on the furniture when they see clean floors. Always, always have the dishes washed and put away, and the counters wiped though. Let the light in! Keep drapes open and turn every light in the room on… Really - it makes a difference.
Lighting fragrant candles or placing bowls of potpourri in main rooms is easy. An absolute must, avoid wet dog smell or dirty cat litter smell!
Nothing says home like a crackling fire and soft music. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, light a fire and let it glow during the showing. No fire place but you do have a big screen TV? Set it to a channel playing soft Christmas instrumentals, with a fire place showing or a slide show of winter scenery.
Homes are warm- make sure the heat is turned on several hours before the showing. If you are not in town, arrange to have your Realtor do this for you. But too warm can be a negative as well. Buyers are usually viewing more than one property and are dressed for winter. While they will shed their boots, hats and gloves when they come in, most will leave their coat on. An entry mat to step in onto and an empty rubber mats/boot trays by the door for snowy boots says “We really care!” and will ensure they are not having to dodge puddles in the entry way.
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