Ten Things You Must Do To Give Your Woodbridge Virginia Home The Advantage This Winter
You Can Get A Faster Sale If You Know How To Give Your House A Leg Up On The Competition In Woodbridge
Some Of These Ten Points Come Straight From Home Builder Model Homes
1. Let your lights shine... all of them. When you know you have a showing, turn on every light in the house, including utility rooms, storage rooms, the light above the stove, closet lights. The short winter days need your help, especiall if your house is being shown to buyers after 4 PM. Use 75 watt bulbs. Builders apply a 7 watt per square-foot standard in their model homes. If you have a gas fireplace, and you have a specific time for a showing, turn on the fireplace on a low setting so the heat doesn't send them running out of the room,
2. Give your visitors easy parking, and easy access to your front door. Snow can cover the parking areas in front of your house. Clear plenty of parking, and make sure there are wide, safe paths to your front door. Use plenty of sand on your snow-covered areas to give your buyers traction. Place a large floor mat in your foyer so folks can throroughly wipe their feet of all sand and snow. If you want further protection, get a box of surgical booties folks can put over their shoes.
3. Odors. Manage odors in your house, especially pet odors and cooking odors. ONE air freshener is plenty for most houses. Don't go crazy with fresheners in every room... you'll overpower your buyers and send them running for fresh air. Cook dishes to eat that put out least odors. At the same time, some fragrances can be good, like the aroma of fresh baked cookies. Keep your furnace fan in the "ON" position so that the fan is constantly moving air through the filter.
4. Create a festive look. Take advantage of the holiday season decorations. Holiday decorations will make your home feel more inviting and warm during the holidays. The aromas of a fresh-cut tree and holiday cookies are inviting touches that make folks feel right at home.
5. Keep your yard free of debris. Winter winds often blow down dead tree limbs, sort of Mother Nature's pruning process. Keep your yard free of limbs and debris. Put down a December/January/February dose of fertilizer to keep your grass green. In fact, winter is the better time to fertilize your grass because the roots put on a growth spurt in winter for a lush lawn in spring time.
6. Look after Home Owners Association common areas. If your yard is adjacent to common area, pick up the dead branches and fertilize the grass. Doing so will make your yard look larger. If you live in a condo, be generous with ice melt pellets on the sidewalks. Use your vacuum cleaner to keep the hallways clean.
7. Don't broil home buyers. Your shoppers will likely be wearing coats, so keep the temperature in your house below 71 degrees.
8. Keep YOUR winter clothes neat and orderly. If your coat closet is packed, move the coats you wear infrequently to another closet. Avoid leaving boots and gloves out in the hallway or mud room. Clear space on the closet floor for boots. We keep our family's gloves and scarves organized by placing boxes with each family member's name on it on the top shelf of the closet. A decorative chest makes a handy place to store gloves and scarves, and it's a place where you can sit to put on your boots.
9. Encourage daytime showings, between 9 AM and 3 PM to take advantage of natural light. It gets dark in winter by 4:30, so you'll have to depend upon your interior lighting. Remember, 7 watts per square foot is what builders put in their model homes.
10. Make it easy for agents to show your house. Do not try to pigeon-hole an agent into a specific time to show your house. The buyers may be seeing homes before your house, and depending on how many houses they've seen before getting to your house, they might have a hard time meeting your deadline. I've seen buyers skip houses where the owner tried to stuff us into a specific time slot. Here is what you should do, no matter when the folks come... LEAVE. Leave the house. Tkae the dog for a walk. Go to the grocery store. Take a long drive. Go out for a run. Leave the buyers and their agent alone to see your house.
10.5.: DO NOT PLAY TOUR GUIDE. Do not take buyers on a guided tour of your house. Let them take time to explore your home on their own. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can, and will be used against you in negotiations. I showed a house to a buyer where the seller played tour guide. He rambled on about his Tennessee slate fireplace for fifteen minutes. What he didn't know was that the buyer was shopping for a home because her house burned to the ground when a fireplace flu fire set the house ablaze. The seller spent fifteen minutes reminding the buyer of her greatest fear.
10.9: Hire a Realtor who can help you stage your house for the buyer's eyes. The way you live with a house can be radically different than the way you sell your house. Stop thinking of your house as your home, and think of it as an asset you are selling. Get an agent who knows how to arrange firniture that makes rooms look larger. Store the clutter. If you have to rent a storage unit at the local U-Store-It, do so. Less clutter makes your home look larger.