November 15, 2011

Top 10 Tips For Selling Your Home in Winter

Selling your home is challenging enough without all the added dreariness of winter. If you're living in an area that even resembles Omaha at this time, you know why winter is not the ideal time to put your house on the market. However, there are steps you can take to brighten your home and make the showing pleasant and enjoyable for buyers. I read this great article on with tips to selling your house in winter, their top 10 tips are:
  1. Clear a path - Make sure your walkways are constantly clear and clean from snow. Footprints on fresh snow will turn into ice, so make sure to scrape the walk. It's important to have a path from the street to your house as well so visitors don't have to crawl over a snow mound. It it's snowing or raining, make sure to put out a mat by the front door or a vase to hold wet umbrellas.
  2. Let in the light - Open the blinds, shutters and drapes in every window (unless there is an undesirable scene outside, such as a close building or dilapidated fence). Use the lighting in your house, especially in darker rooms with few windows. Turn off the TV!
  3. Turn on the heat - Pump up the 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 can be loud. If the temperature is comfortable, people will be likely to linger longer, and if you have a fireplace use it! It will add warmth to the house.
  4. Create a mood - One of best things about winter is cuddling up inside under a warm blanket with your loved ones, so take advantage of that emotion people will be feeling at this time. Make your living room romantic with two champagne glasses near a champagne bucket on the coffee table. Toss afghans over the sofa or chair arm. Turn your bathroom into a spa. Set up vases with winter flowers, or try dressing your dining room table for a dinner for two.
  5. Turn on the music - Something soothing to set the mood for those walking through your house. Jazz or classical are good choices.
  6. Ease up on the scents - Many people are irritated or sensitive to certain scents and candles, so avoid perfuming the house up too much. Try baking winter cookies or sweets instead, but make sure you leave some out for your guests! Don't tease them with the smell and disappoint them when there is nothing.
  7. Make it visually pleasing - Staging is important no matter what time of the year you're selling so make sure to follow the basic rules. Two important rules are to declutter the house and clean it up! Dust, wash, wax, vacuum, sweep, mop, polish - anything you notice, buyers definitely will.
  8. Serve winter foods - Try setting out some hot soup, chili or stew, and make sure you leave a place for the disposal of paper bowls and plastic spoons. Hot apple cider or cocoa make great beverages, too. Whatever you serve, keep it clean and try to make it complex - you want buyers to stay for a while and eat while they notice elements they might have otherwise missed.
  9. Provide specific information - Attach a printed card to items and in rooms that provide further information the buyer might miss or might not know. If your stairs are steep, place a card on the railing letting them know. Have an antique chandelier? Set out a card with its age and other important details.
  10. User timers and technology to your advantage - Have outdoor lamps on motion sensor for when when a buyer approaches, and put indoor lamps or a crock pot on a timer so they will be ready when the buyer arrives.

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