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Selling Your Home in Winter

In the seesaw real estate market, selling your home can become very stressful. One of the ways to reduce stress and increase your selling potential is to beautify your landscape. How do you do that with all that snow on the ground?

Start by doing simple things like picking up stray branches, leaves etc. You may need to grab a shovel not only to clean off the driveway and walk but also to clean up the dog poop hidden in the snow. No buyer wants to see or step in a pile a dog poop after the snow melts away.

Prune away any dead or damaged branches on your trees. Clean off the decks of unwanted and messy debris. Point out the location of dormant perennials, bulbs, and shrubs on the property.

Also don't for get to mist plants indoors and put fresh flowers out in vases on the counter tops or tabletop. Just a few extra touches such as these will reward you with a few extra bucks in your pocket.

Tips for selling your home in the winter

Winter selling is a whole different ball of wax.  It is not the ideal time to try and sell your home especially if you live in an area with a lot of rain and snow. The steps provided below can help make selling during the winter months a little easier:

1.    Clear a path:

Always make sure pathways are shoveled and clear. Make sure to scrape the walk if it is icy as well as laying down a layer of sand to ensure the safety of the buyer. If you have a snowdrift in front of your house make sure there is a safe path through it. If it is raining make sure to have a mat for wet footwear and a place to place that wet umbrella.

2.    Protect your Investment:

Some sellers or agents will ask buyers to remove their footwear or slip on paper booties over their footwear before touring the house. Many buyers tend to like that as it shows a 'pride of ownership' on the part of the seller.

3.    Let in light:

Make sure to open all curtains, blinds, drapes etc. Turn on all lights including appliance and closet ones. Turn off the television and highlight dark rooms with spotlights behind the furniture.

4.    Turn on the heat:

Turn up the thermostat a degree or two higher keeping the house warmer to prevent the furnace from kicking in while the buyer is present. Some HVAC systems tend to be very loud and can distract a buyer. Buyers tend to linger longer if it is nice and toasty warm inside and cold outside. If you have a fireplace, light it. Make sure your damper is open, as you don't want to smoke your buyer out.  Nothing sells a house more in winter then a warm cozy inviting home.

5.    Create a mood:

Make your living room appear romantic by setting champagne and glasses on the coffee table. Add Afghans or throws to the arms of your sofa.

Give your bathroom the spa feel. Hang up comfy robes, roll up wash cloths and tie with ribbons and set into a basket. Set up a bowl of soaps, lotions, and shampoos.

Place vases of fresh winter flowers around your home.

Set a tray on the bed containing a cup and saucer, a rolled up newspaper, and a bud vase with a fresh flower in it.

Set your dining table for two.

6.    Turn on some music:

Turn on some soft music. Jazz or classical are the most popular picks. Make sure it is continuously playing so as not to interrupt the mood.

7.    Ease up on Scents:

Many people are allergic to scents such as plug-in air fresheners, candles, and perfume. If you are going to make the house smell of apple cinnamon or vanilla make sure not to disappoint the buyer. Set out a treat for them as most buyers will think you have something baking. The number one scent that sells is chocolate chip cookies. Others include cinnamon rolls, freshly baked bread, apple pie, or anything with vanilla.

8.    Make your home visually pleasing:

Make sure your home sparkles and shines when the potential buyer comes knocking at your door. Display photos of your summer flower gardens or your rich lush green lawn. Keep blinds and drapes partially closed to undesirable outside sights such as the neighbour's dilapidated shed.

9.    Serve winter foods:

Serve foods that require the buyer to linger while enjoying. Try serving a hot bowl of soup or chili. Hot cocoa and hot apple cider go good on a cold wintry day. Make sure to have something for the buyer to throw the garbage in afterwards.

10.  Provide precise information:

Attach printed cards to items and in rooms that provide further information that the buyer may miss. If you have an empty room place a card on the door describing how you used the room. This will give the buyer an opportunity to envision how they could use it.

11.  Use technology and timers to your advantage:

Plug indoor lamps into a timer to automatically turn on when the buyer is present. Motion detectors are another great way to light up the walkway when the buyer approaches your doorstep. Make sure to turn off the answering machine and ringer to your phone. Use your crock pot to make sure your soup or chili is ready when the buyer arrives thereby freeing up your time to do a few last minute touch ups.