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Buying and selling your home in winter: Should you wait?

January 14, 2015 - Updated: January 14, 2015

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Winter Real Estate: Selling Your House in the Cold, Dark Months of Winter
 
Some people think that selling your house in the winter is a bad idea, I mean, who wants to move in winter?! Well, real estate never sleeps, or hibernates. There are so many reasons why people sell or buy real estate and those reasons are every day occurrences, like births, deaths, divorces, new jobs, immigration and so on. 
 
There may even be an advantage to selling in the winter. Typically the inventory levels drop drastically which means less competition for sellers. There are still decent numbers of buyers out there, so this could work to your benefit.
 
Outside:
 
Be sure to shovel as soon as the snow falls. You never know when a showing will be booked, so always be prepared. Hire a service if that is more practical, as daytime snow fall could present an issue for you if 

you’re away at work. 
 
Of course you will have to shovel the drive and the main walkway to the front door, but also shovel the side walk and the walkway to the back yard, and make sure the gate is unlocked and unblocked. People will want to go out there to see the size of the yard, so remember to clear snow from the patio to make sure they can see it. You might even have some patio furniture out there if it can withstand the winter.
 
 
Try to use some evergreen branches, birch, twigs and other natural decorative items in urns at the front and even the back of your house to add a little extra “warmth”.
 
Always remember to use a de-icing agent for safety. You don’t want anyone to slip and fall. 
 
I love dogs!-- but yellow snow is a big turn off for buyers, so train Cocoa to go next door 
 
Make certain the outdoor lighting comes on extra early, not only to attract the drive-by but also to help with accessibility. There’s nothing worse than a dark lockbox to hinder your showing! If you can add in a light at the side and rear yard to make the journey to the back yard more practical, you’ll score points with buyers and realtors!
 
Following these tips you will ensure that you impress buyers favourably. You are giving them the impression that you take excellent care of the property, which will translate into dollars for you. A home that appears to be loved is far more inviting that one that is neglected!
 
 
Inside:

Forget about saving a few bucks on your heating bill! Make sure the programmable thermostat is always the warm setting, so your buyers are welcomed to a nice comfy home. That first impression is so important!  Consider adding several lamps with timers that will come on early. Many living rooms and bedrooms are dark so add in a few lamps in each room to ensure that the showing is a cheery one. Open those drapes and let the sunshine in but make sure your windows are clean! On a mild day, give them a wash. 

 
Get fresh mats and rugs and wash them often. You don’t want the extra household traffic to create a smelly, grimy environment. Offer a rubber mat for winter boots, so the snow doesn’t melt leaving puddles and salt stains. Be prepared to wash the front foyer often!
 
Bring in some blooming winter plants, like Amaryllis, or Orchids to liven the place up. Using flameless candles, especially the ones that go on automatically at dusk, add to the ambience as well as the fireplace. Always be safe though, and use with caution. I love it when the gas fireplace is on and I hear, “oh that really kicks off some heat, doesn’t it?!”. Let the fireplace act as it’s own salesperson. 
 
Somewhere very visible, say the dining room table, have some photos of the yard during the other seasons of the year, showing your garden in bloom, the grass and trees, or pool during summer.  If there are beautiful parks or other features nearby, you can even have a photo of that. This may take some planning and it’s always a good idea to photograph your property for your self anyway. Use photos without people or pets, those are best. You want to sell the property, not distract the buyer!
 

Tagged with: sandra rinomato ctv canada am real estate winter real estate
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Tune in to Canada AM starting March 12, 2014 to hear Sandra's tips and information. She will be discussing real estate for sellers, buyers  and investors alike. Check back for links to footage, and blogs.Tune in to Canada AM to see Sandra talk about real estate for Sellers, Buyers and Investors alike. She will be appearing every other Wednesday beginning March 12, 2014. Check back for links to the segments, blog postings, and photos.
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