Seems like we skipped fall and went right into winter! Now with several inches of snow on the ground. The winter time, although a slower real estate market than the spring, can be a great time to sell your home. There are fewer homes on the market to compete with. Some buyers are looking for homes that can accommodate their family traditions and make memories.
This is a great time to showcase your home features. I was showing properties in the middle of the snow storms we just went through and it was interesting, every home we toured had at least one fireplace but only one home owner had the fire going. A fireplace is a very desirable feature, one buyers look for even in the warm season. This is the perfect time to showcase your fireplace. No only is a fireplace attractive, but if you have a fire going a potential buyer is going to stay in that room a little longer, linger by the fireplace and take a closer look around, plus it shows the fireplace is in working order and the chimney is clean and ready to use.
Aside from the fire in the fireplace, here are a few key points to prepare your home to sell at this time of the year.
- Keep the driveway clear and as dry as possible to prevent slippery spots
- Shovel a wide pathway up to the front door and sweep off the front steps
- If you have a path around the outside of the house, clear the path so people can walk around
- Clean off the for sale sign and make sure your house numbers are visible and not covered in snow
- Turn on all the lights in the house, don’t rely on natural daylight at this time of year to highlight the features, use warm lighting and turn on all lamps as well as overhead lighting
- Turn the heat up slightly, try to keep it around 70 degrees, not too hot, not too cold
- Keep the inside of the entrance cleared and a rug available for them take their boots off
- I am always a little picky about smells in the house, a great way to give a warm feeling to a home is to have a fresh loaf of bread just baked but how many home owners can bake a loaf of bread and clean their home! So here is an easy alternative, have a small crock pot of water (or cider or orange juice) mix in cinnamon sticks, cloves and a couple drops of essential oils, pine maybe, but not too much. I have this going in my house all winter. I have toured many homes that have candles going. Usually the scent is too strong and you should never leave a candle burning in your home unattended.
- Decorate for the holidays, if the timing is appropriate, but be careful about going over board. Too many out door decorations can take away the focus on the house, same with the interior. The potential buyers will be looking at your decor and not the home features.
- In Michigan usually the lower level / basement is much cooler than the upstairs, open all the heat vents to warm up this level. If you have to use space heaters in any room to keep them warm, this is warning for the potential buyers that the heat may not be efficient.
These are just a few ideas for those of you sticking around this winter to sell your home.