The Mendosa-Balboni team knows that selling your home during the winter months can sometimes have both advantages and some challenges. The winter is great as it can be a time when buyers are more active and serious as they may “need” to move for various reasons. However, sometimes the winter weather can pose challenges, but being well prepared can make these easier to deal with. Here are 6 things that you can do if you plan on selling this winter.
Turn up the heat – You don’t need to keep the heat up all of the time, but be sure your home is comfortably warm for open houses and showings. You don’t want buyers to be chilly or feeling that the home may be drafty and cold.
Trim the trees – Trim back foliage to allow for a clear path to your home. There is nothing worse than having snowy limbs hinder prospective buyers from trying to make it to the front door. A thorough fall clean up is a good idea so that your yard is clear of branches and leaves so it appears tidy throughout winter. If snow arrives you can provide buyers with some exterior photos of the home during the prime warmer months to showcase outdoor space.
Managing weather conditions – Clear your driveway and all walkways of any snow and ice to allow for smooth showings. Use sand or salt so that every prospective buyer can safely enter the house.
Showcase the fireplace – If your home has a fireplace then there is no better time to show off the amenity. Make it a focal point with decor and add a fresh stack of wood if it is a wood burning fireplace. For gas fireplaces, try turning these on for all showings.
Add more warmth with decor – There are several other ways to get creative and add some warmth to your home. Here are just a few ideas:
-Add throw blankets to your couch
-Add some decorative candles
-Baking pies or cookies for the smell
-Add soft relaxing music
-Provide coffee or hot chocolate for open houses
-Turn back the comforters
Lighting – Winter season brings the shorter, darker days so make sure that your home is well lit in every room. Use warmer bulbs as opposed to harsh fluorescent lights and be sure they are all turned on for every buyer tour. Also, keep the window blinds wide open during daytime showings as well!
Preparing your home for sale can be a very stressful time as you get ready for your life’s next chapter. You will want to be sure that you cover the basics by decluttering, deep cleaning and staging your home. However, it is possible to do too much with your home. Here is some advice on things to avoid when you list your home for sale.
Do not over-improve
To get top dollar it is important that your home be updated with things like flooring, modern appliances and fixing any glaring repairs that are necessary. However, there is a point when you don’t want to overdo it. For example, you might not want to install a wall of built-in floor to ceiling bookcases in a bedroom to create the perfect in-home office. There is a very good chance that potential buyers may need to make that a fully functioning bedroom for their family members.
Don’t hang around
When your agent alerts you of a showing that is scheduled, make sure to leave the home for that time. This goes for all of your family members, including the dog. If you can’t make arrangements to go too far, you can even go for a walk to let prospective buyers feel at home while they try to envision themselves living there.
Do not over-decorate
Adding too much can be overdoing it when it comes to decorating. When designing your home’s decor, keep things neutral where they warm up the space, but are not too dramatic or specific for anyone’s taste or style.
Don’t take offense
Don’t forget, the purchase of a home is business. Although emotions get involved sometimes, try not to take things too personally. When a prospective buyer submits a low offer or claims that they will need to redo the master bathroom that is more your taste than theirs, don’t let this bother you while you negotiate.
If you have plans to move into a new home in the near future then you probably have many things to do from packing to scheduling movers. However, one of the best bits of advice is to set time aside and make a floor plan of your new home. Regardless of if you are bringing furniture that you already own or if you are buying additional pieces, planning out the rooms will give you peace of mind while making sure everything fits well.
Take Measurements – A good place to begin is to take measurements of everything that you can. Some listings, especially if they are newer construction, can even have floor plans available that you can utilize which will save you a lot of time. Most floor plans should be fairly accurate, but the scale is not always 100% exact. Be sure to not only measure the size of the rooms, but also the width of doorways and stairwells.
Consider Function – When you map out each room, make sure you keep function and flow in mind. Try to picture the room with several people in it. Then, figure where your furniture should be placed so that it can be functional without interrupting the flow of the room. Sometimes it can be helpful to work with others to get different perspectives and ideas.
Use Online Tools – If there is not already a floor plan and you need to create one, try using a free online service like Floorplanner.com. A system like this is an easy solution for drawing a floor plan and it even offers objects that you can place in rooms to represent your furniture.
Welcome Changes – It is important to understand that as much planning you do for your home online, it is not going to be the same as when you actually move in. Be ready and open to make some changes once your belongings are all moved in. You may even want to live in it for a while to see how the setup can work best.
Planning ahead by creating a floor plan should assist in relieving stress, see what you have and what is needed. This can also very helpful to instruct your movers on where to place your furniture on moving day.