There are lots of easy, D.I.Y. projects that you can do to emphasize the value of your home at any time of the year.
We’re now in the midst of Fall here in Toronto, and as each cooler day signals the coming of Winter, the housing market begins to slow down- but this shouldn’t sway you from listing your home now if the alternative is to wait until Spring! Listing now and all the way through to March, you will have even less competition with other sellers, which means the possibility of a quicker and more profitable outcome. In order to achieve your ideal result, a little timely preparation now will go a long way when it comes to putting the “For Sale” sign on your front lawn.
Keep in mind that it’s always a good idea to consult with an experienced real estate agent to make the most of selling your home in any season. In the meantime, you can use the following tips to guide you in your fall or winter home-selling journey:
Curb Appeal in Any Climate
The first course of action is also the first thing buyers are likely to see, online or in person: the exterior of your home. In ensuring it has plenty of curb appeal, now is a great time to shear and prune unruly bushes and trees, paint, fix and otherwise tidy up look of your home so that it has its best chance of impressing potential buyers. Whenever you plan to enter the market whether now or in the snowier months, it’s a good idea to take a photo of the front and back yards of your house now, when snow and drab light don’t obscure your home’s exterior features. You can also contact me to arrange for high quality photography to help your home show its best.
When planning to list in the Fall or Winter markets, ensure you can remind buyers of your home’s four-season potential, including pictures on the listing of your garden and backyard in full bloom or at least not frost-bitten and buried in snow. Additionally for the front, a freshly-painted door (preferably in a bold colour like red), really stands out and evokes warmth. You can also put potted cold-weather plants on your porch or deck to add a fresh splash of colour.
Looking ahead to winter listings, you may have showings despite two-foot tall snow drifts. A clear and shovelled drive and/or walkway is thoughtful, welcoming and a good first impression. Even so, you’ll want to ask your real estate professional if their office has accident insurance. In cold weather ice can build up quickly and often. Accident insurance means peace of mind when having people view your home, especially crucial in inclement weather.
Let There Be Light…and Heat (But Not Too Much!)
Cold weather has the advantage of making your home feel that much cosier and inviting to buyers. Encourage the feeling by setting a comfortable temperature for those viewing often many houses and condos in a day, usually dressed well for the weather. Ensure that the thermostat is set with this in mind, meaning you may have to don a warm sweater while at home between showings. You can also emphasize cosiness by placing a folded blanket or two on sofas and chairs, and if you have a gas fireplace, make sure to turn it on for showings. This will help to emphasize the entertaining potential of your home, especially with the holidays at this time of year.
Since winter months are darker due to shorter days, poorly-lit rooms can be depressing and uninviting. Keep lights in all rooms on before and during showings, or at the very least use timers. This way you can set a bright, inviting mood, while keeping from forcing buyers to hunt for switches. You can also further brighten your home by placing a mirror on walls across windows to bounce light around the room and make it seem larger too. It doesn’t have to be a big mirror either, to do the trick.
Clear, Clean & Repair
Clean windows are important anytime, but especially during winter. Most cold weather days are cloudy and overcast, and clean windows will help take advantage of any sunlight that makes its way in. Additionally, clean windows will help prevent streaks that can build during winter rainy spells. You always want to put your home’s best face forward, and windows are a part of your home’s visage!
On this point, be sure to call (or call on your inner) handyman/woman, and fix issues like leaky faucets, fixtures and gutters in advance. Have your home’s furnace or chimney professionally cleaned and inspected. A clean heating system not only lowers your heating costs in the short run, it makes the house smell better and feel warmer too. Check and fix issues in any areas of the home that might be susceptible to cold air, drafts or leaks. Check in corners, around windows and doors, around your home’s foundation and of course the roof…all the places you don’t see very often. When the home inspector comes calling, you’ll be ready.
Shield Your Floors from Winter’s Wrath
Ok, maybe it’s not actually so dramatic, but wet weather can dirty or even damage your home’s floors if you let it. Leave out a welcome mat, umbrella stand and coat rack for visitors to use, and a helpful reminder by way of a sign to ask them to take off their shoes at the entrance. Not only does this save you cleaning later on, it tells buyers that you care about a home that is clean and in good working order. Remember to keep entrance ways as open and clean as possible as in winter months, all those coats, boots and pet gear can clutter up the view that buyers will see when they first step into the house.
All of these efforts can only leave a great impression to potential buyers when it comes down to offer time. If you stay in the mindset of what YOU would like to see if you were looking for a new home, and reflect that high standard to buyers, you are almost ensured great success in your home-selling journey!