5 Tips to Prepare a Home for Sale During the Winter Months

House for SaleUnless a residence is located in a climate that enjoys warm temperatures the year around, which is only a small part of the United States, home sales do tend to slump (at least somewhat) during the winter months. There are some steps you can take to up the ante when it comes to placing your home on the market for sale in the wintertime.

 

Be Generous with Illumination

 

During the wintertime, natural light is somewhat at a premium. This reality is coupled with the fact that in many locations across the United States, the days are cool and the nights are cold. In order to ensure your house is placed in the proverbial and literal best light you need to be generous with illumination.

 

In the daylight hours, open drapes, blinds, and shutters. Do this with every window with the only exception being one that overlooks something that is not particularly desirable. You will also want to turn on the lights. Many residential staging experts recommend turning on all lights in a residence when a house if being show for sale in the winter months. Some of these professionals go so far as to suggest placing spotlights on the floor behind some furnishings to enhance overall illumination.

 

Keep Pathways to the Residence Clear

 

Snow and ice on walkways impair the curb appeal of a residence. They also present a very real hazard. For these reasons, you must keep pathways to a residence clear of snow and ice. You need to shovel and scrape walkways even when snow of freezing is still falling.

 

Keeping paths clear conveys that a homeowner is meticulous about caring for a residence. Significantly, keeping paths from the street to the front door clear is an important step to prevent injuries at a residence.

 

Keep the Heat Up

 

If you are like many homeowners, you keep the temperature lower in order to save money. That represents an understandable strategy. With that said, when prospective buyers will be visiting your home, turn up the heat to ensure that it is comfortable.

 

The best strategy to employ is to turn up the temperature in your home a few degrees higher than normal in advance of a prospective buyer arriving at the property. This will heat up the home before a potential buyer arrives. Taking this approach tends to prevent the heating system from kicking in while a person is touring a home. Depending on the type of HVAC system in a residence, a distracting noise can permeate the residence when it turns on. You are likely used to any such interference; however, a visitor to your home will not be used to the noise.

 

Set an Idyllic Mood

 

During the winter months, you need to take extra steps to make the rooms in your home feel and look particularly inviting and cozy. Staging experts strongly encourage a homeowner to eliminate bric-a-brac in advance of showing a home to prospective buyers. With that noted, you will want to consider adding a few touches throughout the residence that convey a sense of warmth.

 

Consider placing vases filled with fresh flowers here and there throughout the house. If the fireplace is in good repair and functioning properly, lighting a fire for a buyer’s visit can be a nice touch as well.

 

Finally, consider displaying photos that present what the exterior of the residence looks like during warmer months of the year. These photos can be neatly arranged on a countertop in the kitchen or a table somewhere else in the residence.

 

Take Caution with Scents

 

You certainly want your residence to smell nice when presenting it to a potential buyer. However, you most definitely do not want to overdo. Indeed, some people are allergic to deodorizers and different types of scents.

 

More than a few Realtors have taken to using essential oils during an open house, specifically ones that emit scents like freshly baked cookies. Yes, that can prove to be a welcoming scent. However, you will find visitors looking for cookies or other munchies and you must not disappoint.

 

Going the essential oil routes (in moderation) is acceptable and prevents ovens from becoming unnecessarily dirty from baking. You can solve the cookie and munchie dilemma by preparing snacks off premises and having them set out during showings.

 

By employing these strategies you will give you residence a true leg up on the market when you seek to sell your home in the wintertime. Indeed, you are wise to utilize some of these strategies no matter the time of the year.

 

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Jessica Kane is a writer for Nick’s Building Supply, Inc., the best place for custom made or replacement front doors online. 

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Keeping Your Finances in Check: How to Stay on Track

Wallet

Photo via Pixabay by Stevepb

Keeping your finances in order can be tricky; whether you’re just starting out in your career or ready to retire, there are always new things to consider and difficult decisions to make. Creating a budget — and learning how to stick to it — is one of the biggest components of staying on the right track, but it’s also important to learn how credit scores work and what you can do to keep yours in good shape. For older adults, it’s a good idea to start thinking as early as possible about how you’ll pay for your post-retirement years and what you can do to prepare for long-term care should you require it down the road.

 

For those who are thinking of making big purchases, such as a car or home, it’s imperative to do an overhaul of your spending and budget to make sure you can truly afford it. Think about the total cost of owning a home or automobile; for instance, you also have to add in the annual cost of insurance, taxes, and maintenance.

 

Keep reading for some wonderful tips on how to keep your finances in check.

 

Set a Budget

 

Setting a budget will help ensure that you can save a little money back each month, and it will help you get into the habit of sticking to a financial plan. Take a look at how much you spend each month versus how much you bring home; often, examining your spending habits will allow you to cut a few things out or swap them for something less expensive, such as trading cable for a streaming service, which will allow you to save without giving up anything.

 

Buy What You Can Afford

 

It’s tempting to open up new lines of credit when you have the option, but when it comes to making big purchases, it’s usually best to save up and pay cash or only charge purchases that you know you can afford to pay off. For those who are looking to buy a home, it’s important that you understand the total cost and to make sure you have enough for a down payment.

 

Check Your Credit Score

 

Your credit score can determine many things, from your ability to buy a car to what type of home loan you’ll be eligible for, so it’s imperative to keep it in good shape and understand how the score is affected. Applying for new credit can ding the score, as well as simply checking it on some credit sites. Get familiar with credit scores and what the average is, and consider signing up with a financial site that will help you monitor it.

 

Remember That the Little Things Add Up

 

Often, it’s the little things that add up when you’re trying to save money. Carpooling to work can help save on gas, but it can also prevent a lot of wear and tear on your car, which can help you save on maintenance — plus, it’s great for the environment. Couponing will take off several dollars at the register when you do your grocery shopping. Taking your lunch to work most days can save quite a bit; eating out can be pricey these days, even if it’s just fast food.

 

Keeping your finances on track can be stressful, but if you start with a solid plan and stick to it as much as possible, you can ensure that your money is right where you left it and keep stress to a minimum. Talk to your family about how they can help when it comes to saving money.