So it’s that time of year when Daylight Savings Time has ended, usually the first Sunday in November, and our clocks return to Standard Time. We all look forward to the extra hour of much needed sleep when we “Fall Back” and change our clocks. It is an absolute reward and celebration for….. well,…. that one day. After the glow of the additional rest fades, we’re left with the reality of the lengthy, dark evenings and nights of late autumn and winter.
For folks with SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder this time of year does not bring fond thoughts of crock-pot meals and indoor hibernation in front of great television. They long for the bright sun-soaked evenings that stretch the day until bedtime becomes a sneaky guest that surprises people when it arrives long before the first yawn has escaped. Leaving for work in relative darkness and then leaving the office to return home in relative darkness may rob people of their motivation and summer time zeal, but it also affects the world of real estate very profoundly. There are a few considerations clients selling their homes may need to consider and attend to that are more important this time of year than during other times.
Let’s look at a few of the most relevant examples that will get you jumpstarted. This time of year, when people are scheduling times with their realtors to look at a home after they leave work, as stated above, they are viewing it in the dark. As a seller, you need to consider the first impression and curb appeal of your home when seen in dim or dark natural light. This is going to make one very simple aspect vital – make certain ALL of your exterior light bulbs are working and that you have the most flattering wattages in each location.
Check not only your front porch or stoop lighting, but also check your flood lights or any lights that shine on the drive way. If you have lights on the back of the home so buyers can see the yard make sure they are on and working as well. Make sure you constantly check for spider webs in your lighting fixtures as the creatures can work amazingly fast and turn a clean, brightly lit porch into a scene from the Adams Family (a sort of haunted house) in one overnight. With this said, lighting is going to be very important so you’ll want to turn enough lights on that it is easy to see the home but balance that so that it sets an appealing mood. If we stay on the theme of lighting, beyond functional exterior lights, landscape lighting will be most important this time of year. It’s always nice in case potential buyers are driving by in the evening to look at your home again, but this time of year, their FIRST impressions may be made in darkness.
There are so many things that can be done with landscape lighting now, there are even “lighting architects” that can help you plan your zones and timers with precision. To a lesser and more reasonable degree, use your own judgment and remember the purpose of your landscape lighting - to accent and softly highlight features of the home or gently guide visitors along the sidewalks or give a warm glow to certain plantings that will add depth to the lawn or flower beds. What you don’t want is lighting so bright and overbearing that people feel as if they are stepping into a prison yard. The “just right” amount of light can be achieved by changing not only the number of lights and where or how they are positioned, but also by comparing different wattages and tones (like pure white blue tones or softer amber hued glows).
A final word to consider is to keep all paths to and from the home safe and make certain any steps or shifts in sidewalks or changes in elevations are easy for people to perceive. The last thing you want is for a potential buyer to be gazing up with anticipation at the front door and catch their toe on cracked concrete or a forgotten toy and literally trip into the house. They will forever associate their first impression of the home with embarrassment and human nature would have them blaming the environment as “unsafe”…. not a word you ever want in a buyer’s mind. So sweep, pick up, patch and light the way to make your home seem like a warm, bright oasis in the dark. As a realtor, I’m glad to work with my clients to discuss how the lighting should be set when they are expecting an evening showing as well as to come in and turn lamps and lights on inside the home as to best illuminate its features.
If you are in the greater Knoxville, TN area and are thinking of selling your home, during or after Daylight Savings Time, I’d love the chance to discuss being your realtor. Call me, Blake Rickels,Keller Williams Realty. Phone 865-966-5005 office. Each office is independently owned & operated.