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The real estate market typically slows down in the winter, but experts are calling for a robust market during this year’s colder months. As we start approaching the winter season, sellers should be making sure their house is presentable and ready to sell. Here are some of our favorite tips for getting your home ready for the market:
1. Keep Your Driveway and Sidewalks Clear of Snow
This might be everyone’s least favorite chore during the winter, but it’s important to keep a clear driveway and walkway for your showings. Clearing the entire width of your driveway and a path straight to the front door avoids safety concerns and makes your home more inviting for potential buyers.
Not looking forward to shoveling the extra snow? Consider hiring a snow removal company to keep your walkways clear.
2. Combat Winter Weather by Adding Pops of Color
Unless there’s a fresh dusting of snow on the ground, winter is typically accompanied by grey skies and barren trees. However, your home doesn’t have to match the dreary weather outside.
Including pops of color by your front entrance can help to make your home more inviting. Colorful curb appeal can transform the results from your listing photos and in-person showings. Creating color in your home can be as simple as adding a seasonal wreath to your front door.
3. Keep the Heat On
It can be tempting to lower or turn off your thermostat when you aren’t home. However, keeping your home between 68 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit will help to ensure that everyone is feeling comfortable. Keeping the heat on will also give the impression that your home is well-insulated- which is something that is on everyone’s minds during the winter!
4. Hide Your Draft Stoppers
If you have draft stoppers for your doors and windows, it’s best to put those away for showings. Draft stoppers send a clear message that your home is drafty and not well-insulated. Allow your buyers to make their own assessments during the inspection period and avoid leaving out little details that could sway their initial feelings.
5. Insulate Your Windows
However, if you're worried about drafts, there are less obvious ways to keep your home insulated. Investing in insulating shades or hanging thicker drapes close to your windows can help to keep the heat inside. You can also add velcro fasteners to the walls to maximize your drapes’ insulating power.
6. Trim Back Tree Branches
Selling season is not the time to take any risks with those tree branches that have been dangling above your roof. Long tree limbs not only allow excess water to seep into the roof and onto the siding, but they increase the risk of pests getting into your home as well.
As a rule of thumb, limbs and branches should be at least three feet away from your home. Luckily, it’s easier to trim branches after the leaves have fallen, so perhaps there are perks to selling in the winter after all!
7. Clean Your Windows
Speaking of trees, it’s important to realize that their leaves won’t be shielding your home from direct sunlight anymore. Buyers can clearly see all of the scuffs, streaks and fingerprints on your windows.
While dirty windows might not seem like a huge deal, buyers may start to wonder about other details that have been neglected within your home. It’s best to keep them clean and show that you’ve gone the extra mile.
8. Sweep and Inspect Your Fireplace
Fireplaces often serve as the centerpiece of a room so it’s important to make sure that yours is in good shape! Consider hiring someone to perform a professional chimney sweep to ensure that your wood-burning fireplace is functioning properly.
Now is also a good time to invest in a chimney cap if you don’t already have one. You don’t want any unexpected visitors crawling down your fireplace from the outside!
With this winter predicted to be a great time to sell your home, it’s best to start cleaning now so you can settle down next to the fireplace later. Avoiding classic mistakes and investing a little extra effort in the details can be a vital part in making sure that your home sells for top dollar.