2021 – what a year! I remember saying that 2020 was a year for the record books, but it seems like Covid-19 wasn’t quite done with us in 2021....
Traditionally, the real estate market is slow in the winter. Unless you live in a climate that’s warm year-round it’s not the best time to put your home on the market. Poor weather conditions discourage buyers from venturing out and often presents the property in a negative dreary look compared to the Spring! However, there are still some strategies to help make the showing as pleasant as possible to the buyers. By letting in the light, creating a warm ambience, and even serving holiday refreshment!
Pull up the blinds, open the shutters, and push back the drapes in every window. Turn on every light in the house this includes appliance and closet lights. You can further brighten dark rooms or one with no windows by placing spotlights on the floor behind furniture. This is an easy way to brighten and showcase those darker areas of your home.
Washing the windows enhances the precious daylight hours. Clean out cobwebs and dust furniture, ceiling fan blades, and light fixtures. Bleach grimy grout and, if necessary, recaulk tubs, showers, and sinks. Polish chrome faucets and mirrors. Clean out the refrigerator; it probably needs cleaning anyway. Wash or polish floors, and vacuum daily; if you have plush carpeting, vacuum in one direction. Empty trash and recycling bins every day.
Continuously shovel a path through any snow, even if flakes are still falling. Footprints on fresh snow will turn to ice if the temperatures are low enough, so scrape walkways and steps periodically, and add a layer of sand or salt afterwards. Remember to open a path from the curb to your front door so visitors aren’t forced to walk in snow. Put a rubber mat at the front door and a container to hold wet umbrellas and shoes.
You want the temperature inside to be comfortable and to give the buyer more incentive to linger, especially on a cold day. So, turn up that thermostat! It’s better to heat the house a degree or two warmer than usual and then set the temperature at normal. This helps prevents the heat from kicking on when the buyer is present (some HVAC systems are loud). If you have a fireplace, light it up, but be sure to open the damper, place a screen in front of it, and don’t leave it unattended for very long.
Don’t neglect the aural ambiance in your home. Have soft music playing throughout such as light jazz or classical music is always soothing. If it’s the festive season, non-religious holiday music is a nice touch and helps them envision themselves living there. Don’t turn on a radio station with ads; instead stream your music from a computer or tablet, using iTunes or Spotify, so that your music will be continuous with no distractions.
Many people are allergic to certain scents and deodorizers, avoid spraying the air with these or using plug-in air fresheners. For the same reason don’t burn candles or spray perfume in the bedroom.
If you’re going to bake cookies put out munchies, so prospective buyers aren’t disappointed after their stomach starts growling. More than one visitor has been lured into a room by a mouth-watering aroma, only to say, “Oh, darn, I thought I smelled cookies in here!”