Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Shopping in the Snow

Well, I guess the Farmer's Almanac was correct - we will be seeing significant snow fall between January and March this year!  How quickly can the tri-state adapt to these winter challenges?  More specifically, how quickly can our Real Estate Market adapt?  Buyers have been hard to come by for many sellers these days, and with all this snow many buyers are choosing to stay at home.  As a seller, what can you do to prepare your home for the wintery visitors that do brave the cold and snow?

For starters, make sure your driveways and sidewalks are kept clear of snow and ice!  Snow covered walkways don't just make it seem uninviting it's a liability risk for you.  From there, make sure that you have plenty of welcome mats or towels laid out at the entrance, especially if you are asking your visitors to remove their shoes before walking around the house.  You could consider providing those disposable shoe covers, but they can be a pain to put on especially if you are wearing snow boots.  Best way to approach it, is to plan for at least 3 people trying to get into your entry at the same time.

Once inside, you want the house to seem as inviting as possible, so warm is nice and very welcoming.  If the home is vacant but not winterized, consider leaving the heat on in the mid 60's.  That's warm enough that folks will appreciate it but low enough to save you some dollars.  On the same note, if the house is vacant - stage it!  You don't need to pack the house full of furniture to stage it, but a small piece in each room can help establish a reference point for the size.  Essentially you are just offering a perspective.

On a side note, candles should NOT be left burning in the house!  As an agent this always terrifies me when I walk into a home with numerous candles burning.  Approximately 15,000 homes burn every year due to candles.  If it's a smell you are trying to cover, the buyers will know it as soon as they walk in the front door.  It's better to purchase another scented alternative that plugs in or diffuses it's sweet smell into the room.

And buyers, remember, this is someone's home.  Respect their wishes and remove your shoes, if that's what they request...tell your agent to crank the heat once your back in the car.  Better yet, claim your dominion over the knobs and dials of your agent's car from the start! 

Chris Wood
Office: 513-791-2255
Star One Realtors
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