Preparing Your Property For Winter Showings

Listing a home for sale this winter? Check out these tips for creating a comfortable, safe experience for buyers.

If you live in a colder climate, you know that winter presents some challenging weather conditions, like snow and ice. And if you’re selling a home in the winter, prospective buyers won’t be ogling a freshly mowed lawn or vibrant flowers – they’ll likely be eager to get inside and out of the elements.

Clear walkways

Remember Harry and Marv slipping down the McCallisters’ exterior stairs in Home Alone? Don’t let that be your prospective buyers.

Ahead of tours or an open house, make sure agents and buyers alike can access the property. Shovel paths and entrance points, including the driveway, doors and walkways. Then, apply ice melt products, like sand and salt, which can alleviate slipperiness – especially on stairs.

Prepare for messy footwear

Many homeowners ask prospective buyers to take off their shoes before exploring the home. But snowy or muddy shoes and boots will still mar the entry way. To prevent mess, pick up a plastic or rubber shoe tray. Some people even opt for a boot brush mat outside the door for visitors to wipe off their shoes before stepping inside.

Stage for the season

Help buyers imagine themselves living in your home by staging appropriately for the season. In the winter, consider adding cozy fixtures like knit throw blankets, refreshed pillows, and a few candles dotted about. If you’re nearing a holiday, try artfully setting the dining table to show what future gatherings could look like.

Prior to a showing or open house – in any season – it’s best to thoroughly clean the home, pare down on personal items like photos, and declutter.

Open shades for natural light

Let’s face it – winter can bring some drab weather. To maximize natural lighting inside the home, open the curtains and blinds throughout.

In addition to embracing natural light, check each room for any burnt out light bulbs and replace them with new ones.

Turn the heat up

Whether you still occupy your home or have already vacated, ensure the heat is set to a comfortable temperature. Especially in the winter, buyers are searching for a home that feels like an inviting haven.

If the home has a fireplace, clean it up (hint: hire a professional!) and follow maintenance protocol depending on whether it’s gas or wood-burning. Plus, clean and stage the mantel. Buyers will likely be more focused on the presentation of the fireplace in the winter than any other season.

Consult a real estate agent

Work with an experienced real estate agent who knows how to best position a house to sell. Not only does a listing agent market the property, conduct open houses, and help facilitate the transaction, but they also can provide the names of trusted local professionals for services like repair, staging, and more.

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