Two weeks ago we shared our thoughts on why your home isn’t selling (read more here). At the end of that post, I promised to follow up with some actionable steps that you can take to create more value and get your home sold. While my original focus was on general steps to increase value, I couldn’t help but be inspired by the 5+ feet of snow staring at me through my front window (and my Facebook feed). So, if you’re home is currently for sale, here is what you need to know….
1. SHOW ME A SIGN
I’m willing to bet that your lawn sign is currently buried… First thing being first, get outside and see whether the sign can be dug out and made visible from the street. If so, great! Whether you dig it out or your Realtor does, well that’s up to you BUT at the very least make sure your Realtor knows that the sign is buried and whether it can be dug out. If your sign has no chance of being dug out because of where the snow is being thrown, then you need to contact your Realtor right away and get a new sign. I don’t generally recommend jamming a new sign into the top of a snowbank for safety reasons but, find a high visibility location to place it like ON the house/porch, etc.
2. SALT & SHOVEL
Before you call me captain obvious, hear me out. I don’t mean basic snow removal. If your home is for sale, you have to take your snow removal to the next level. If potential buyers have to walk sideways between their car and the banks to get up your driveway, they are automatically feeling discomfort and are associating that feeling with your home. It is essential that you take the time to widen paths and walkways and, if possible, salt them down until they’re bare. If buyers can plant their feet firmly on the ground, they will automatically feel more confident with the property. If buyers are waddling, arms outstretched, on ice… well, they’re not looking at your house. They’re actually just trying not to fall.
3. FEELING HOT, HOT, HOT!
The temperature inside the home is such an important component of presenting the highest value for the property. If buyers are cold inside your home, they are uncomfortable and, again, they associate that feeling with the home. Further, consciously or subconsciously, they’re likely running through a list of all of the reasons that the home could be cold: Poor insulation? Defective/old heat system? Bad windows? And the list goes on… don’t put your home (or yourself) through the added scrutiny and turn the heat up a few hours prior to showing. Remember, you may choose to wear slippers and sweaters inside a la Fred Rogers, but your buyers may not.
4. WINDOWS (and everything) CLEANER THAN CLEAN
Have you ever noticed just how bright the world is when it’s covered it snow? The extra brightness reflected in the snow makes every spec of dust, dirt and grime show much more obviously that normal. As such, Winter is the perfect time to get the cleaners in or throw in extra elbow grease and get your windows, floors and flat surfaces absolutely spotless.
5. CLEAR DECKS, PATIOS AND PORCHES COMPLETELY
This one isn’t so obvious. A huge part of the living space that your home offers is the outdoor living space. But if buyers can see it, you can’t sell it! So, get out on your porch, deck and/or patio and shovel it completely so that potential buyers can visualize what the home will be like beyond winter. And let’s face it, just about every New Brunswicker is currently longing for summer. Show them that your home is going to give them the summer living spaces that they’re currently dreaming about!
6. SPEAKING OF SUMMER… UPDATE YOUR PHOTOS!
If the online leading photo of your home shows a lush green lawn, replace it with a photo that shows the home in the snow. WHY? Because a photo of your home with a green lawn will stand out like a sore thumb and buyers will assume that the home has been sitting on the market forever… then they will ask why and likely assume the worst! Don’t risk it… the photo that you’re using to market your home should be a reflection of how it looks today… not 6 months ago.
What other winter selling challenges can you add to this list?
Ever wonder what to do when 400 000ft (maybe a little less) of snow is holding your car hostage and the kids–or you–are getting a little too anxious for Christmas? Here’s our suggestions!
1. Sugar Plums
First of all, do any of you have any idea what a sugar plum is? I did not, but when I googled them I realized that I make them all the time! Technically plum is a traditional word for any type of confectionary. The sugar plums we hear of in the “Night Before Christmas” are pretty much Lara bars made into orbs! Here’s the recipe for the sugar plums I made this year (not knowing that’s what they were!) They’re super healthy and delicious!
1 cup of dates
1/2 cup of nuts
2 Tbs of Peanut Butter
1/4 cup of coconut
Mix in a food processor and roll into balls. Refrigerate.
* This is my favorite combination, but you can add almost any kind of dried fruit to get different flavours.I know some people love dried kiwi and coconut. If someone is allergic to nuts, you could add some seeds or chocolate…m&ms…whatever you want!
Glitter can make ANYTHING christmasy and everyone (except the cleaner) likes sparkle!
-Draw a picture or write a phrase.
-Paint over your artwork with modge podge or clear liquid glue.
-Add some glitter. Shake it off and you’ve got a gorgeous Christmas decoration!
You can do the same thing to glitz up some tree decorations!
3. Old-Fashioned Decor
There’s something timeless about stringing popcorn and cranberries, making designs on oranges with cloves, or cutting paper doll chains! Why not make a few on this snowy day!
Thread your needle and stick it through popcorn, periodically adding a cranberry. It’s that easy!
Orange with Cloves
Take an orange and stick cloves all over it! You can spell a holiday word, make a pattern, or whatever you please! These will make your house smell so festive!
Traditionally, these are made by folding paper, drawing little girls and boys, cutting out your doll shape and hanging them on the wall. I took a bit more modern approach, but it’s easy to adjust to your own style.
Find a large piece of scrapbook paper.
Draw the shape of your choice. I went with Christmas Bulbs. I was wanting to use string, but if you don’t make sure you draw to the edge of your paper and don’t cut the edges! See the last picture for an example.
Cut them out!
Do any decorating you wish. I drew the top part of the bulbs.
Make little holes using a hole punch or needle and thread your string through the holes!
Hang them up!
Here are my trees made without the string!
I hope you have awesome snow days!
If you’re sick of all the bloody snow we’ve had lately and you want to give your poor blistered paws a rest, even for one day, then check out our Facebook promotion. If you win, we’ll come and clear your driveway of all this horrible white stuff. Here’s what you need to do:
2. Take a photo of why you’re the most worthy person to have your driveway ploughed and post it on our Facebook page. (If you don’t want to take a photo, you can get out your crayons and draw us a picture.)
3. Be creative and make us laugh. Bonus points if we find ourselves ROFL.
Deadline for new entries is Tuesday, February.15, 2011. The winner will be chosen by the MHB team and announced the next day (Wednesday, February.16, 2011).