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Today let’s talk about some tips you can use to prepare your home for sale in the winter.
1. Make sure the home is well-lit in the evening. Days are getting shorter and buyers will still likely be out looking after dark, so having good lighting will keep your home from looking dingy. Turn your inside and outside lights on before a showing or have your Realtor do it for you. A lot of sellers use compact fluorescent lighting; these require a warm-up period before they turn on fully. I recommend using LED bulbs or incandescent bulbs.
2. Check to see if everything in the home is working properly. This sounds silly, but take the time to make sure that certain focal pieces, like gas fireplaces, are in working order. Make sure all your lights work.
3. Keep your home at a comfortable temperature. With vacant houses, the temptation is to turn the heat down, but cold houses will turn off buyers, so turn on the heat prior to showings.
4. Pay attention to curb appeal. Not too long from now, there will be snow on the ground, but that won’t hide certain blemishes like chipped paint, falling fences, or lampposts that are askew. Take care of those issues, and also put out seasonal decorations. Talking to a stager can help you come up with ideas to enhance your curb appeal to help capture the buyer’s attention.
5. Update your home’s photography as the seasons change. Especially when it comes to your exterior, have photos taken before and after the snow falls. You want your listing to look fresh, so keep those photos updated with the seasons. Photos showing a bright green lawn in mid-February will be a turn-off as the buyers will question why it’s been on the market for so long.
6. Make sure the threshold isn’t cluttered. Buyers will need space to take off their footwear and winter apparel, so have an adequately-sized, high-quality indoor mat and possibly a boot tray. Consider moving the pile of your family’s shoes and clothes so buyers feel welcome.
7. Shovel and salt pathways in front of your home. Buyers should feel safe navigating to your front door; a slip or fall would hardly endear them to your property. Maybe check with your insurance agent about your policy converages, just in case.
Taking care to act on these tips will help you sell your house in the winter quickly and for the most money.
If you have any questions about this or other real estate-related topics, give us a call or send an email. We’d be delighted to help in any way we can.