Home Seller Tips, Home Selling Tips — February 11, 2015 at 9:33 pm

Winter home selling tips

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Look, sometimes life’s timing isn’t always ideal and, here you are, in the dead of winter, with a house to sell. Not to worry, winter has its own beauty and charm that you can take advantage of when placing your home on the market. Here are some vital tips that will make your house shine to potential cold-weather buyers.

1. Clear the walkway

If you live in snow country, make sure that you keep a clear snow-and-ice-free path to your home. You don’t want potential buyers to think that they’ll have to spend the better part of winter shoveling snow — even if they will. Plus, it’s bad form to have a visitor slip on a front porch step you’re hoping they’ll love enough to buy.

Make sure your shrubs and trees look tidy and aren’t obstructing your walkway. Also, make your front door and porch look inviting. If your front porch is large enough, add a brightly colored chair or two with a small table. Place a colorful bowl of pine cones on the table. Sometimes, less is more and a pop of color is all you need. For a tiny porch or stoop, find a couple of pretty pots and fill them with lush greenery. Bring them inside when you’re not showing the house if they’re not freeze tolerant.

2. No tracks allowed

Potential buyers will appreciate that you don’t want snow and mud tracked through your well-maintained home. Offer slip-on shoe covers at the door, or ask that shoes be removed and have clean and new slippers available. Also, place an umbrella stand on the porch, if possible.

3. Let visitors see the light

Turn on all of your lights, including those in bathrooms and closets, and open the curtains and raise the shades. Allow sparkling clean windows to let in as much natural sunlight as possible.

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4. Play up your home’s cozy factor.

Crank up that thermostat; keep the house a few degrees warmer than usual. You want people to feel warm and comfortable the moment they enter. And you don’t want the heater to keep popping on and off during their stay. Keep those home fires burning if you have a functioning fireplace. Slide a comfy chair near the fire and place a book and maybe some reading glasses on a small table next to the chair. This is the time to pull out soft pillows and luxe throws and casually place them on sofas, chairs and beds.

Candles scream cozy, but scented candles can be a turn off to those sensitive to fragrances. Better still, invest in battery-powered flameless candles. You can get them made of wax, and the flames will flicker like a traditional candle. The trick is to place them slightly above eye-level, so no one notices the “wick.” Place a generous grouping of these candles on your mantle for a hazard-free and inviting tableau.

Old ideas are often still valid. A pot of simmering, cinnamon-scented potpourri will definitely add to the warm ambiance. If you own (or can borrow) pretty china and crystal, then go ahead and set a festive table. Make your potential buyers visualize their own dinner party in your home. You want them to see the possibilities.

5. Be our guests

If you want to make visitors feel like guests and linger even longer, stock a single-serve coffee maker with cider and hot chocolate pods. (You can include coffee and tea, but then you’ll have to consider sugar, sweetener, cream, something to stir it with…way too much trouble and mess.) Have small, insulated to-go cups with lids available. And, a plate of good cookies never hurts. This isn’t the time to pop open a bag of generic Oreos. Spring for home-baked cookies from a nice bakery.