Many people take their homes off the market and out of Alexandria’s MLS during the winter months but I think it is a mistake. People are still looking and with days like we had yesterday, are probably spending more time browsing homes for sale on site’s like mine. If your home is on the market and showings are in the future, here are a few tips to help you get a Purchase Agreement.
- Keep the driveway and sidewalks free of ice an snow. Put yourself in a buyer’s boots. If you arrive at a property and getting to the front door, and in the front door, is a challenge, what frame of mind are you in once inside?
- Turn on your gas fireplace. If you failed on step one, this step might save you. If you have a wood-burning fireplace use your best judgment. If it is an older fireplace that add too much eau de smoke, skip it.
- Put on the holiday charm. Do your best to make your home festive without creating clutter. Tastefully festive is a good goal.
- Exterior accents. Think about adding large urns or other plant containers to outdoor spaces to help ideas ‘bloom’ in buyers minds even when there is a foot of snow on the ground.
- Make it look like you are ready to party. Last year I had a home on the west side of Lake Carlos listed (sold) and was blessed with having the help of a talented area designer. Each time a prospective buyer entered the home it looked like there was entertainment plans. Fresh flowers were out, tables set, fresh fruit in bowls, glassware set on the bar, etc. Winter is prime time for festivities so do your best to put buyers in a fun mood and will help show them the possibilities for entertaining in the home.
- Warmth and light. Even if a showing is scheduled for 1 pm, make sure every light is on in the home. This is important year round but especially key in the winter as we all know some days in Minnesota can be quite gray. It makes a huge difference in a prospective buyer’s opinion and it would amaze you how many homes on the market I enter that have all the lights off even late in the day. I’d estimate it is somewhere in the 80-90% range. Also, in the winter months, think of using throws or quilts to add warmth with color.
- Clean the entryway and then clean it again. This is important year round but is even more key in the winter months with stuff brought in with boots. And more time tends to be spent in the entry during the winter months as people un-bundle and un-lace. Make it easy and pleasant for them by taking extra effort to keep it clean and as clutter free as possible.