Thursday, January 5, 2017

Selling Your Home During The Winter Wisconsin!

While many believe that it is harder to sell your home during the winter, this is, from my experience, the opposite. 

Don't misunderstand, selling during the winter may be a bit more work, but it will be worth it!

Some perks to winter selling:
1) Less competition! Let's face it, not many people want to move in the snow so they decide to wait until spring to list there home...problem is, MOST people make that same decision and that leads to more competition for you.
2) People are always moving, no matter the time of year! Keep in mind that many people have job transfers, promotions, career changes, etc and they need a place to live! Your home may be just what they are looking for! 

So how do you prepare for selling your home during the winter???
Here are some simple tips to help:
1) IF and I stress IF it has been a nice, mild winter, you may want to give the exterior a quick bath. Don't go crazy and completely soak it because it is winter after all and the water has to go somewhere.

2) Clean the windows...again, you obviously can't do this if the temp is below freezing, but a nice mild day would work.

3) Clear all the snow from the walks around the house, this includes the path to the garage, the decks, porches, etc. Make sure no ice is to be found! Nothing worse than having a potential buyer, or their agent, slip and fall on your property. 

4) Brush off the snow from the hedges, maybe even give them a light pruning if weather permits. They will look healthy and inviting

5) Door or porch need a face lift? Even in a mild winter, you can't paint the exterior, you can, however, spruce it up with a nice wreath, maybe some festive greenery in an urn by the door. Not sure how to create an inviting piece for your exterior? Contact your local florist, they will be happy to assist. 

6) Make sure the heat is turned up! This means at least 72 degrees inside! Nothing turns a buyer off quicker than entering a cold or even chilly home. Did you know that if the property is vacant, it can (and usually is) much colder inside than it is outside? A buyer wants to be cozy the moment they walk through that even if it's vacant, turn the heat up if possible. 

7) Odors...bad odors are just that, bad! Most people can't even smell their own homes after a while so here is a tip for everyone, whether you have pets or not: clean! Deep clean, not just surface clean. You would be amazed at all the "stuff" hiding under appliances, behind furniture, and in the corners. Once you have deep cleaned and it's the day of a showing, bake! Easy tricks that help welcome a buyer....bake cookies (with take and bake now, what could be simpler!), or buy a frozen apple pie and put it in the oven on low so it not only has time to bake a bit before the showing, you can keep it baking during the showing (this would be at a very low temp and only if you are coming right home after the showing-or have your agent shut the oven off!). You can also purchase a scent warmer and place some wax chips that smell like apple cider on a fall day. Some recommend burning candles, I do NOT recommend this as it is a fire hazard...if the buyer brings their children it is especially dangerous.

8) How to protect your floors during showing...two options: either provide everyone with shoe covers (like surgeons wear) or provide a place for the wet shoes to be removed along with pairs of "one-size-fits-all" type slippers or slipper socks. Be sure to have a simple sign for them so they know they can wear these through your home (also let your listing agent know you will be offering this, if they are a good agent, they will pass along the info to any prospective buyers agents).

9) Own a fireplace? What better time to have it on! Most fireplaces now are gas so the danger of running it while you are away for a half hour is minimal. Wood burning, take extra precaution and maybe leave right when buyers or their agent arrive and request you be notified once they have left. Better to be cautious, but if you can have the fireplace going, and it's one of the feature elements of your home, there's no better time! 
10) And as for any home, at any time of the year, declutter! If you do not need it for your foreseeable future, either pack it away, donate it, or toss it. Make your home "show ready" and the buyers will be able to visualize themselves living there.

Now get your home ready for the market and give me a call!
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