Here is a checklist to things to consider when prepping for winter showings:
- Please shovel the drive, walkway, front porch, decks and patios and make sure it is both accessible and safe for visitors. Ditto for snow or ice on roofs, eaves, overhangs or garages.
- check to make sure the house numbers are visible as is the real estate “For Sale” sign and not obscured by snow, ice or snowbanks.
- For evening showings, please leave an outdoor light on so it is quick and easy to access the lockbox and then open the front door.
- Leaving all house lights on, saves time and shows your home to its best. Best to turn off the security system for scheduled showings also.
- Please make sure there are ample floor mats and boot trays to accommodate visitor footwear, especially for Open Houses.
- Please keep floors dry and clean! Few things are more irritating or distracting than walking through a puddle or having to walk through a dirty basement.
- Keep a moderate temp in the 19-20 C range (65-68F). Many vacant properties are like meat lockers temperature wise and this does nothing for a buyer trying to “warm up “to a property, particularly when walking through in their sock/stocking feet on a cold floor. Visitors are wearing coats at this time of year, so please don’t make it too warm, either.
- Keep curtains and blinds open to admit as much natural light as possible, this is especially important in our low light winter conditions. Light, bright homes show better and buyers are very much interested in this.
- Have a pet management plan which includes daily removal of any pet droppings that are emerging through the snow and ensure cat litter boxes and the area around them are cleaned regularly.
- Check for cooking, pet or other odours (hockey equipment?) and ventilate the home using your HRV, as home odours are more noticeable during the winter when houses (particularly newer more air tight ones) do not get as much fresh air from opening windows and doors.
- Minimize distractions: we don’t need cooking smells, music, vanilla on the stove, excessive air or carpet deodorant, personal photos, etc.
- Leave out some good colour photos of what the house and yard look like in the summer time, this really helps a buyer “see” the property.
- Have a plan for any fireplace. Wood burning fireplaces don’t need to be lit but should be clean and with wood or fire log ready to light. Gas fireplaces should also be clean and ready to turn on with directions on how to do so but resist the urge to leave the gas fireplace “on” or a wood burning fire going.
- No smoking…even in the garage!
- don’t run dishwasher or laundry when showings are scheduled.
We would love to share our other thoughts on how to get your property sold, so feel free to give us a call at 613-435-4692 or firstname.lastname@example.org , if you are not already working with another real estate professional.