Winter and early spring present their own unique set of challenges. There may be snow and the grass might not be green but there are steps you can take to brighten your home and make the showing pleasant and enjoyable for your buyers.
1) Let in the Light
- Pull up the blinds, open the shutters, and 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.
- Turn off the TV.
2) 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.
- Turn on the fireplace.
3) Create a Mood
- Make your living room appear romantic by placing two champagne glasses near a champagne bucket on the coffee table.
- Toss an afghan or throw across the arms of your sofa.
- Turn your bathroom into a spa:
- o Hang plush robes.
- o Roll up washcloths, tie with a ribbon and place in a basket on the counter.
- o 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, and rolled-up newspaper.
- Dress your dining room table for a dinner for two.
4) Turn on the Music
- Turn on soft music.
- Jazz or classical is soothing.
- Don't turn on a commercial radio station - ensure your music will be continuous.
5) Ease Up on the Scents
- Many people are allergic to certain scents and deodorizers; so don't spray the air or plug-in air fresheners.
- Don't burn candles or spray perfume in the bedroom for the same reason.
- If you're going to bake cookies or simmer spices such as cinnamon in water on the stove, put out munchies so buyers aren't disappointed. More than one sad buyer has said, "Oh, darn, I thought there were cookies in here!"
6) Make it Visually Pleasing
- Display photographs showcasing your summer flower gardens and lush green lawns.
- Keep blinds partially closed that otherwise show undesirable outdoor scenery such as a dilapidated fence or a nearby structure that obstructs views.
- Make Your House Sparkle:
1. Wash windows
2. Clean out cobwebs.
3. If necessary, re-caulk tubs, showers and sinks.
4. Polish chrome faucets and mirrors.
5. Clean out the refrigerator.
6. Vacuum daily. For plush carpet, vacuum in one direction.
7. Wash and wax floors.
8. Dust furniture, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures.
9. Bleach dingy grout.
10. Empty trash and recycling bins.
9) Provide Specific Information
- Attach printed cards to items and in rooms that provide further information the buyer might miss or might not know. You have so little time to make an impression.
- If you have an antique chandelier in your dining room, put a card on it that discloses its age and other important details.
- If you have removed the washer and dryer from the laundry room, attach a card to the wall describing the room.
- If your basement stairs are steep, attach a card to the railing that cautions buyers to watch their step.
- Take care when placing a card that says: "Not included in the sale." That will make a buyer want it, but you can play that later to your advantage.
10) Use Timers and Technology to Your Advantage
- Plug indoor lamps into a timer to automatically turn on at times buyers will be present.
- Consider using motion sensors that will light up in the evening when a buyer approaches your doorstep.
- If you use an answering machine, turn it off or mute messages.