It is always nice and comfortable to talk about how to prepare your home for sale in the spring or summer. There are hundreds of articles out there to join with the several I have written that discuss the strategies of staging your house to enhance its value.
Certainly, the weather plays a large factor in whatever strategies we plan in the spring and summer since we start out by assuming our landscaping will be at its best at this time of the year — lush green lawns, colorful flowers, blossoming trees, and beautiful lawn furniture tastefully positioned throughout the property to show it at its best. Imagine a swimming pool (if it exists) with clear and inviting water just waiting to be utilized on that hot day, or just to be gazed at while reading a book and having a nice drink in one of those “tastefully arranged” lawn chairs. Yup, sounds terrific; I am ready to go there myself after the “October rain and cold that shouldn’t have been but was” made its way into our lives and had everyone turning on those heat thermostats earlier than planned.
But what about the homeowner who decides to sell in the winter, when the temperatures are lower, the leaves have already fallen off the trees, the swimming pool is covered, and the lawn furniture is now stacked, stored, or covered for the winter? How does this homeowner prepare his or her house to look its best for sale at this time of the year?
I have always felt that it is easy to be a buyer in the spring and summer when the weather is nice and you feel like being outdoors, and so shopping for a house becomes a “feel good” experience as well as having a purpose. Although the height of selling season is in the spring and summer, there is also quite a brisk market for home sales here in the Five Towns community even in the dead of winter. Homebuyers in the winter have to be really motivated since they must deal with cold weather, snow, and ice, as well as shorter days, in their search for a new house, so why shouldn’t a seller prepare the house accordingly for winter presentation?
Some simple rules of thumb should be used when preparing a house for the winter selling season to make a seller’s home more inviting to a buyer.
- Landscaping may not feature the beautiful green lawns and colorful gardens of the spring and summer, but there is no reason why it cannot be clean, manicured, and cared for in preparation for the spring season. Lawn and gardens that have been cleaned, cut back, and manicured show a homeowner who takes pride in his or her property.
- Snow is definitely pretty to look at but not a joy to shovel, and if you want buyers to come look at your house after a snowfall, don’t assume they will trek through the snow in front of your house to get there. Shovel your front walk and sidewalks and even a path from the street. Don’t make your prospective buyer’s first experience seeing your house figuring how to get to the house through the snow.
- Ice is not pleasant, and although we realize that it will melt eventually, helping it do so immediately is a must for a seller. Throw anti-melt or, at the very least, sand on your icy steps, walkways, and sidewalks so they do not become obstacle courses for prospective buyers.
- There are some plants that prosper even through frost or freezes and they can be utilized as an accessory in a few select pots on your porch or steps to add a little color.
There are a variety of interesting ways of staging your home to look its best during those winter months. If you are interested in selling your home and would like a complimentary consultation, please do not hesitate to call me for an appointment.
Anessa Cohen lives in Cedarhurst and is a licensed real-estate broker (Anessa V Cohen Realty) and a licensed N.Y.S. loan officer (FM Home Loans) with over 20 years of experience offering full-service residential, commercial, and management real-estate services as well as mortgage services. She can be reached at 516-569-5007 or via her website, www.AVCrealty.com. Readers are encouraged to send questions or comments to anessa@AVCrealty.com.