Tips for selling a home in winter

Winter will be here before you know it and it is already cold outside.

I am out there daily showing homes with hundreds of other Realtors in the Valley. Don’t tell me homes don’t sell in the winter.

If a buyer is willing to trudge out in 10-degree weather and 6 inches of snow, that buyer is serious.

So one day I got a call from one of my snowbird sellers asking for a report, and I realized that you should hear that report too:

“Mr. Seller, thank you for having the snow shoveled. The buyer saw six homes today, and according to their agent, four of them were deep in snow.”

“I really want to thank you for keeping the heat at 60 degrees. A couple competing homes were so chilly that the buyers didn’t want to spend any extra time there. The light timers came on at 5 p.m., so the home was well lit for the 6:30 p.m. showing. Their agent felt your home made the top of their list.”

As I wrapped up the call, it serves to remind us all that selling a home in the winter requires a bit more attention, patience, and understanding, but those efforts are rewarded. So here are some tips to make your home more attractive in the winter:

• Make sure lights are on inside and out for evening showings.

• Make sure the sidewalks and driveways are shoveled and salted.

• Place an extra doormat inside your home.

• Keep the heat up to at least 55 degrees or set the programmable thermostat to make it 65 degrees during the day.

• If your home is vacant, have someone check on it every day or so because winter is the season of frozen pipes. A broken small waterline can do many thousands of dollars damage in just a few hours.

• Understand if buyers are not on time, especially if the agent is showing four to five houses. The weather can mess up schedules in a hurry.

• Understand that inspectors will not climb ladders or walk on roofs. Safety should come first.

Winter provides challenges for us all, but one thing it does is eliminate casual buyers. Nosey neighbors and Looky Lou’s wait for good weather. Serious buyers are the only ones out there in January and February, so if they want to see your home, say yes and accommodate them.

Mink-Crouse is the 2018 president of the Warren Area Board of Realtors.