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Built by Blue Sound Construction, designed by MaKe Design, photos by Alex Hayden

Winter Home Selling Success

Posted on Nov 24, 2016 in:
  • Buy
  • Homeowners

As most savvy buyers and sellers know, spring is the peak season for home sales. But job and lifestyle changes can sometimes make it imperative to sell during the winter months. Our Northwest winters can make it difficult for your home to look its best and attract those buyers who, like you, need to relocate in the winter. The following steps can help brighten your home and make it appealing to potential buyers.

Make Your Home Accessible

Make sure there is always a clear path to your door by continually shoveling a path through snow or debris and always make sure the sidewalk and any steps are not slippery from rain or ice. When in doubt, sprinkle a layer of sand to ensure stable footing. If you are holding an open house on a rainy day, put a rubber mat by the front door and a container to hold wet umbrellas.

Create a Warm Welcome

On cold, damp days, keep your home a degree or two warmer than usual and set the thermostat to maintain that temperature so that visitors feel a welcoming warmth when they enter your home, especially during an open house.

A higher temperature setting will also ensure that the heat won’t kick on when a potential buyer is present, which is especially important if you have a loud HVAC system. A toasty, warm house will also give a buyer more motivation to linger and give the house serious consideration. If you have a fireplace, a cozy fire can also create a mood of comfort and homey charm.

Keep it Light

Pull up blinds and open shutters. Make sure drapes are pulled back on all the windows to let in as much light as possible. The only exception to that rule would be open blinds that reveal undesirable outdoor scenery. The idea is to create an open, airy feeling in your home. Turn on every light in the house, including appliance lights and closet lights. This will help even a house with limited windows appear bright and cheerful.

You can also brighten darker rooms by adding a few spotlights on the floor behind furniture. The one light you want to keep off, however, is the light from the TV. You want potential buyers to be concentrating on the merits and features of your home and not the score of the game! For the outside of your home, consider motion sensors to light up the walkway or the front door area for when a buyer approaches the house.

Appeal to the Senses

Music playing softly can enhance the mood of the house, but don’t use a commercial radio station. Instead, have light and unobtrusive music continuously playing during a showing or open house. To make the house seem appealing all year round, display photographs showcasing your summer flower garden or the back deck with charming flower pots on it.

Pleasing smells are another effective tool when showing a house, but be careful, many people are allergic to certain scents and deodorizers. So instead of air fresheners or burning candles, bake cookies or heat apple cider with cinnamon. But be prepared to offer these treats to your guests, or the appetizing odors may make them eager to leave and get a treat of their own!

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Photo courtesy Blue Sound Construction, builder; MaKe Design, architect; and Alex Hayden, photographer