Preparing Your Home for the Winter Market
Fall and winter have traditionally meant a slower residential real estate market. Leaves have fallen from the trees and shrubs, lawns are dormant, and flower gardens no longer burst in brilliant colors. But there are several things that you can do to prepare your home for the market in the fall and winter seasons, and most are very simple.
First, clean up your yard or have it done by a professional. Rake dead leaves and debris from your lawn, and don’t let overgrown vegetation block the windows or path to the entrance. Cutting bushes and tree limbs will let the sun inside and showcase the exterior of your home. And be sure to cut down dead flowers.
You can accent your steps and along the sidewalk with pumpkins, other types of squash, and decorative walkway mats. You can also hang a couple of friendly signs on either side of your front door.
Rain and wind from the summer months can make your windows dusty and streaked by autumn. You might not notice smudges, but buyers will, if only on a subconscious level. To sell a home, your windows need to sparkle, so wash your windows inside and out each fall or before you are ready to sell. In addition, remove screens and spray them down.
Check the HVAC. You want the air inside your home to smell fresh. Change your furnace filter, and have the heating system checked for efficiency and for any possible repair issues.
If you have a wood-burning fireplace, light it when buyers tour your home (or gas fireplace if that’s the case). Nothing smells like autumn and winter quite like a “real” cozy fire. In addition, clean your fireplace of cobwebs, ashes, and soot. You can also arrange knickknacks in the fireplace in place of wood logs, or decorative items on the mantle.
Prepare autumn edibles…the scent is amazing. Place some freshly baked pumpkin cupcakes or hot apple cider on the stove or counter when buyers tour your home. Put a tray of cinnamon sticks on the counter, dotted with whole cloves. You can also prop open a cookbook to an autumn stew and fill a bowl with crisp red apples.
Music is always a great way to set the mood for buyers. There are great selections of seasonal music available, including holiday songs and instrumentals that play quietly in the background.
Another great way to accessorize your home in winter is with bright red, orange, and/or golden yellow pillows on the sofa. Toss an autumn colored quilt over a chair. And be sure to clear away clutter and depersonalize each room. Create an autumn centerpiece for the dining room table by arranging pine cones and nuts around orange candles, and stick in a few leaves from the yard.
Turn the lights on throughout the house, pull open the blinds, and push back the drapes. Nothing creates a great ambiance more than sunshine in every room.