Although homes are selling quickly in the current real-estate market, you still want yours to stand out and give buyers reasons to choose it. Here are 9 ways to make your home more attractive to buyers, especially during the winter months.
- Shovel the snow. I can remember showing homes in winter, and slip-sliding away, along with my buyer clients. One of the most important things you can do is keep walkways and driveways free of snow. Where there are icy spots, but down sand, rock salt or, my favorite, kitty litter. Works like a charm.
- Light up the house. During winter, there can be plenty of cloudy, dark days. Make sure to illuminate every room in your home – open blinds and curtains and put on all lights. There’s nothing worse than touring a gloomy home…or getting a negative first impression because the buyer must wait while the Realtor goes room-to-room turning on lights.
- Make sure it’s clean as a whistle. If you want to sell your home, it has to be move-in -ready (unless you’re selling a fixer-upper, priced as one). I recommend sellers hire someone to do a deep cleaning before listing their home. If not, make sure you scrub every surface, remove cobwebs and dust bunnies, and de-clutter cabinets and closets (yes, buyers open up these too).
- Keep the home at a comfortable temperature. I can remember holding open houses where the owners had turned the heat down to 60 degrees or even less, especially if they’re no longer living in the home. If you are expecting potential buyers to be touring the home, you want to keep the thermostat at 68-70 degrees – as Goldilocks would say, “Not too cold, not too hot, but just right.”
- Create a cozy and inviting environment. Winter is all about soft, fuzzy blankets, a glowing fire and an atmosphere where a buyer can see him or herself curling up with a good book. You can do this by laying a soft throw across the arm of a chair or sofa; setting the dining table as if you’re preparing a warm meal; lighting a fire to warm the room and cast a pleasant glow. You could also hire a home stager to position furniture, use lighting to highlight certain features and ensure rooms flow nicely.
- Play some soft, calming instrumental music.
- Avoid strong aromas, but light a subtle-scented seasonal candle or simmer some spiced cider.
- Present interesting tidbits about the home. If you have a craftsman home, for example, create a “Special Features” card or fact sheet highlighting them to display on a kitchen counter. You could mention the wood floors are original to the home and the staircase railing is hand-carved. You could also make a flyer of recent updates in the home. Whatever puts a particular home in the best light.
- Write a letter to potential buyers. I’ve seen sellers do this. The owners write a short letter on what they love about the house, the neighborhood, the neighbors, community amenities. This letter can be displayed right next to the Special Features list. It adds a personal touch and leaves your buyers with a good feeling about the home .
So, there you go – some ideas to help your home be the most attractive one on the market this winter, and have it sell in a flash for top dollar.