As expected, it is just after a snowy blistering day here in Niagara and you get a call from your real estate agent who has booked a viewing for your home. Here are some tips to help your realtor show your home with confidence.
1. Snow removal and access to your home is primary focus
Make your home cozy and inviting. Be sure to shovel your drive or walkway so that the first impression is a clean and accessible entry. Buyers are discouraged when they are faced with a hike to the doorway in knee deep snow and risk snow in their shoes, wet pants, and wet socks.
2. Adjust Your Home’s Temperature
Buyers tend to view more than one home at a time, and appreciate a nice warm feeling after running in and out of cars or up and down elevators in condos. Be sure to monitor the temperature of the entire house and set it appropriately. Turn on the gas fireplace if you have one. Let them have a positive experience for living during the winter season in our beautiful historic area of Niagara.
3. Get Buyers Out of the Dark and Into the Light
The winter months means shorter days and less natural light. Adequate lighting is crucial in every room. I cannot stress enough how poor lighting can deter a buyer. Keep it bright in the winter. Open up drapes if it is a cloudy day for natural reflective light from the snow outside. It is best to leave all the lights on before showings or use timers. This allows you to set the mood lighting, and saves the buyers fumbling for light switches. Your home should feel like a welcoming home or an oasis from the cold. It is worth the effort to help sell your home.
4. Preparation is key
Buyers will be dressed for the season, so if you can, place an absorbent rug or a shoe tray for their boots, and leave a chair or bench at the entrance of your home for their convenience of removing outer coats and hats. Buyers and your agent will appreciate this gesture. This would be a good opportunity to organize the front hall closet by thoughtfully arranging your winter wear with storage bins for hats, scarves and mitts. Being organized usually gives an appearance of a well lived in home that offers ample storage for every season.
5. Don’t Forget about Fido and Felix
If you are a dog or cat lover as I am, you must consider their living space as well during this season. Pets tend to bring in snow balls and leave behind unwanted puddles. Be sure to check their beds, carpets, towels, food dishes, as this too can speak volumes to the Buyer if this is untidy. Remove dirty towels and doggy toys laying around the house and store in a bin nearby. I have actually seen buyers stop their viewing to say hello to your four legged friends, and if they are well groomed, some Buyers will actually remember your home over others due to having a nice visit with your pets! Agents will take the time to expand and have discussions with the Buyer about nearby parks for their pets and walking trails or dog friendly neighbourhoods.