We all know that selling your property presents all sorts of difficulties and challenges
But throw winter into the mix and a variety of new obstacles present themselves.
Winter weather usually means cold, dark and wet conditions – with more than the occasional snow flurry added to the mix.
That can leave properties struggling to show off their best features – which isn’t ideal when a home is on the market.
But by incorporating a few simple tips, sellers can enhance their property’s look and feel, and increase their chance of attracting an offer.
1. The first impression of your home could make or break a sale. Ensure an attractive impression is made. That means keeping the paths, driveways and patios clear from winter elements such as snow, ice and fallen leaves to improve your chances.
2. Well-kept properties sell far easier than those riddled with structural issues. It is important during the colder months to avoid potential problems such as keeping gutters clear from leaves and snow and attending to any leaks. If you are unlucky to have frozen pipes, ensure they are thawed carefully to avoid even more damage. Use low temperature instruments such as a hairdrier or a hot water bottle.
3. An unkempt garden is a sure-fire way to detract prospective buyers. So brave the elements to strip back overgrown hedges and tidy away clutter and patio furniture. Also ensure you fix any loose fence panels and oil squeaky gates to avoid negative impressions.
4. During viewing times, keep your home well lit, warm and welcoming to make sure the buyer wants to stick around. Ensure all lights are in working order and open up curtains to allow in as much natural light as possible. Plan how to keep the property homely and warm without being cluttered and crowded. Think minimalistic: create the impression of a bigger room with warm tasteful furnishings such as rugs and cushions.
5. Avoid any issue with off-putting aromas by keeping rooms well aired, allowing fresh air to circulate the property. Perhaps even adopt the old clichés of baking fresh bread or roasting a pot of coffee to create a more positive, lasting impression.
6. As a general rule it's advised you keep your property at 15°c to avoid the damaging effects of the winter months. This applies even if you are lucky to jet off over the winter period; but be sure to set your heating on a timer, otherwise you'll be redirecting the cost to your energy supplier. It’s also an idea – if you are away for an extended period of time over the winter period – to check with your insurer to ensure you meet their requirements when your home is empty.