Selling a house is stressful. Selling a house in the middle of winter is challenging. Selling a house where small children live is exhausting.
This is my life.
In an effort to expedite the selling process and get on with the purchase of our new home, I have been scanning the web looking for ideas.
Dana Dratch of Bankrate.com seems to best summarize what the professionals recommend for winter sales.
1. Keep snow and ice at bay.
2. Warm it up.
3. Take advantage of natural light.
4. Get the windows washed.
5. Play music softly in the background.
6. Make it comfortable and cozy.
7. Emphasize winter positives.
8. Set up timers.
9. Make it festive.
10. Give the home a nice aroma.
11. Protect your investment.
12. Use the season to your advantage.
So, let me see here…
We have our home listed for sale by owner and have had a few showings since the sign went up in the yard about three weeks ago. It seems as if I have an instinct for staging a home because I implemented some of these ideas before I saw the list above. Yay me!
If a potential buyer calls, I try to sound interested and excited to show them our home, yet not too excited as to appear desperate. We schedule a time for the showing and as soon as the phone hits the receiver, it’s full on mania.
I try to keep up on all the house work and pick up throughout the day. Regardless, Thomas and his entire Sodor Island need to be shoved back in the closet and there is always something sticky left on the dining table and floor.
The driveway and stairs are clear of snow and ice. I crank up the heat so buyers feel warm when they step inside. I open all the blinds and turn on all the lights. I set Pandora to Jazz, light a candle or two, and offer a cup of coffee or something to drink.
My husband says it’s weird I offer a drink: “We are trying to sell our house, not have a dinner party.”
My response: The article says “have a plate of cookies for your guests, some warm cider or even chilled bottles of water.”
Look who’s not so weird after all!
In the article, Dratch also recommends asking lookers to remove their shoes or wear booties as they walk through the house. This falls under suggestion No. 11 and indicates to buyers you are a homeowner who protects your investments.
Another mortgage writer suggested building a snowman in the front yard. Genius.
If you also find yourself trying to sell your home in the armpit of the year, best of luck. Use a few of these suggestions and cross your fingers every time the phone rings, that’s what I do.
Just don’t go building a snowman in your front yard. I call dibs!
Jessica Brashear is married with two children. Read her blogs here on momaha.
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