It may not be snowing just yet, but you can count on the white stuff in the near future. If your home is going to be on the market during winter snow storms, the time to prepare is now.
Sloppy, slushy conditions are not only dangerous to folks trying to get to your front door, but they create messes – while you’re trying so desperately to keep the home clean.
Here are our best tips to help you sell your home when it’s snowing.
1. Keep them safe
Can you imagine a prospective homebuyer (or one of her children) careening down your walkway on her backside? Yikes.
Prevent this from happening by being extra-diligent in your ice and snow removal. Pay close attention to walkways, driveways, sidewalks near your home and stairways. If you have a deck or patio, ensure it’s snow-free as well to entice potential buyers to explore.
Then, follow up the shoveling with ice melt or rock salt. ConsumerReports.org has a handy piece about how to use ice melt and which is best.
Cut back any tree branches that appear precarious. The last thing you need is a potential buyer with a concussion (or worse) from a fallen tree branch.
Finally, clear out the gutters to avoid overflow.
2. Entice them to come inside
Do whatever you can to add pops of color to the exterior of the home. Potential buyers will notice and, hopefully, be enticed to get out of the car and into the home.
Add some color to the exterior of the home with plants, such as cold-weather loving pansies in pots on the porch or holly, with its colorful berries.
Consider painting the front door a cheerier color, such as red (evoking a holiday spirit). You’ll need to do this now, before it gets too chilly, according to the pros at houselogic.com.
Oil-based semi-gloss exterior paint needs to be applied in temperatures that are no lower than 40 degrees Fahrenheit and the limit is 50 degrees for acrylic-based paint.
Then, add a decorative door wreath (find ideas on Pinterest.com) for added curb appeal.
Paint the mailbox while you’re at it – anything to add contrast to the oh-so-white landscaping at this time of year will act as an invitation to enter the home.
3. Make them want to stick around
Offer up a place for visitors to hang their coats and shoe coverings to keep them from tracking the outside through the home. They’re quite inexpensive and will save you having to clean up after them. Check out Amazon.com if you prefer ordering online.
If you’ll be at work while the home is being shown, you’ll need to prepare the home before leaving. Set the thermostat so that the air temperature is comfortable. Turn on all the lights and, if it’s a particularly gloomy day, switch on your landscape lighting and porch light.
Since all homes look better in natural light, open all the window coverings as well.
Tori Toth offers a brilliant idea at USNews.com: a hot chocolate station. Since you won’t be home during showings, use an urn to keep water hot, a basket full of envelopes of instant hot chocolate mix, another full of cookies, a bowl full of mini-marshmallows and a container of stir sticks.
Don’t forget to leave a note inviting visitors to help themselves.