The nights are drawing in, the temperature has dropped a few degrees and the Christmas songs are starting to play on the radio – which can only mean one thing, winter is nearly upon us.
You can use winter to your advantage as a seller. By carrying out a few simple steps, you can ensure that buyers will be chomping at the bit.
Let there be light
It gets darker much earlier in the winter, so a well-lit home becomes even more important. If you have a viewing in the day, try and get as much natural light in as possible by opening all your blinds and curtains. If you have a viewing in the afternoon or evening – by which time the darkness will have set in – make your home look warm and homely with the right level of lighting.
At these times, you might want to give off that snug, cosy, ‘watching TV in front of the fire’ vibe, which will have significant appeal to certain buyers. If you possess a fire, get it roaring. Not only will it heat up your house, you can also use it as a major selling point to those viewing your property.
As well as making sure your house is warm and welcoming, you should also be as friendly and attentive as possible. Would-be buyers will probably have braced the chills to view your home on a winter’s night, so it might be worth offering them a warm drink, to heat them up and make sure they stay in your home longer. There is, as always, a fine line between friendliness and over-friendliness, so you should try to keep things as natural and unforced as you can.
Clear away the leaves
It might sound like a cliché, but first impressions really do count. The first thing prospective buyers will see is the front of your home, which could look a bit battered and bruised in the winter months. Giving paths and front gardens a bit of TLC, trimming the hedge and clearing any leaves from drains and gutters will help to give your home that clean, uncluttered, well-maintained look.
Maintain, maintain, maintain
Winter can leave your home susceptible to damage more than any other season. Preventative maintenance, to reduce the chances of damp, pipes freezing and clogged gutters/drains are all sensible measures to take before putting your house up for sale. Winter can also have an impact on paintwork, so it may be worth giving walls a fresh lick of paint before bringing your property to market.
Make yourself available
Buyers are likely to be busy, time-poor people who will appreciate flexibility when it comes to scheduling viewings. In winter, you will need to take into consideration fewer daylight hours for would-be buyers to view your property. They may be happy to view during the late afternoon or at night, but some buyers will prefer to do so in the day, when they can get a more rounded picture of the property, the street it’s on and the local area it resides in. Where possible, you should facilitate their demands, assuming these demands aren’t completely outrageous!