PRE­PARE YOUR HOME TO SELL IN WIN­TER

The mar­ket does slow as the mer­cury falls, so fol­low these tips to make home stand out

Edmonton Journal - - HOMES - HEATHER FAULKNER

Win­ter is creep­ing up on us and plans to stick around for the next sev­eral months, and while it’s true that home sales drop be­tween now and March, homes are still bought and sold year­round.

In ad­di­tion to hav­ing a clean home in good re­pair, here are sev­eral tips to en­sure you home is seen in the best light dur­ing the dark win­ter months.

CLEAR ICE AND SNOW FROM YOUR DRIVE­WAY, PA­TIO AND SIDE­WALKS

First im­pres­sions count. Many peo­ple will judge a house based solely on the drive-by ex­te­rior of the home. A home with a well­shov­elled side­walk will ap­pear to be bet­ter taken care of and ti­dier than a home with a poorly shov­elled or un­shov­elled side­walk and drive­way. It is the win­ter equiv­a­lent of an un­tended lawn.

Make sure to shovel all ex­te­rior walk­a­ble spa­ces. A snow-cov­ered pa­tio is not dis­tin­guish­able from a snow-cov­ered lawn.

While this may seem ob­vi­ous, many don’t shovel their drive­ways or walk­ways as com­mon prac­tice.

When you are try­ing to sell, it is ad­vis­able to shovel right down to the con­crete or deck.

Shovel it off to show it off. If they can’t see it, they won’t buy it.

DITCH THE WIN­DOW FILM AND DRAFT STOP­PERS

I get it, your win­dows are alu­minum slid­ers and they aren’t ex­actly air­tight. While adding the plas­tic film around your win­dows helps keep the chilly win­ter draft out, it re­ally draws at­ten­tion to a prob­lem area of your home in­stead of draw­ing at­ten­tion to the pos­i­tive ones.

Same thing goes for the adorable draft stop­pers you have tucked un­der the door — they just scream drafty house.

While you don’t want to hide prob­lem ar­eas, you also don’t want to make them a fo­cal point.

Keep the buyer’s eye on the pos­i­tive as­pects of your home.

TURN UP THE HEAT

In this day and age of car­bon levies you may have your ther­mo­stat set to nearly frigid tem­per­a­tures while no one is at home.

This cost-sav­ing mea­sure is great, but when that last-minute show­ing comes through they aren’t go­ing to feel how warm and invit­ing your home is, they will only feel how cold their feet are and of­ten just hurry to get out.

There are some new Wi-Fi con­nected ther­mostats that al­low you to ad­just your heat re­motely from any­where you have an in­ter­net con­nec­tion, but if you don’t have one then just leave the tem­per­a­ture at a com­fort­able level while you are try­ing to sell your house.

You want the buy­ers to stay in the house long enough to fall in love with it, and that is worth a cou­ple of ex­tra bucks on your heat­ing bill.

SET THE STAGE

Stag­ing a home can help it to sell faster, and of­ten for more money. If pro­fes­sional stag­ing isn’t in the bud­get, there are things you can do to set the ‘stage’ in your home.

For ex­am­ple, set out dec­o­ra­tive cosy throws on the couch with a cou­ple glasses of wine in front of the fire­place. Make the master bath look like a spa with fluffy tow­els and can­dles. Set the din­ing room ta­ble with your good china for ei­ther a ro­man­tic din­ner for two or a large fam­ily gath­er­ing to show off the space.

Win­ter slows home sales, but pay­ing at­ten­tion to stag­ing de­tails to help your home stand out from the crowd.

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