Thursday, January 28, 2016

Selling this Winter and Gearing Up for Spring

O.k.---it many not seem like it, but for anyone with plans of buying or selling a home this year, the busiest season for real estate activity will be here before we know it. House hunters could do themselves a favor by actively searching now before the competition gets tougher. Shopping for coastal property during the less desirable winter months can often lead a hopeful buyer to a motivated seller. If it's just not in the cards right now, then go ahead and plan your strategy for the spring!
For sellers, the winter months can be a more challenging time to prepare a property for the sales market. Cold cloudy days, chilly winds, and wintertime precipitation can definitely take some of the fun out of getting a place move-in ready, and let's face it, that's a number one priority for today's buyers. Here are a few tips  to make your home more appealing to potential buyers.

Keeping up appearances - When your home is up for sale, make sure to maximize its curb appeal by keeping the yard and driveway fresh and tidy by raking, mulching, and blowing leaves. A few pops of color outside your home can work wonders for a drab backdrop. Cheery pots of pansies and ornamental cabbage do really well here and easily brighten up beds and entrances.

Light & airy - If you want to evoke the feeling of easy breezy coastal freshness, keeping your windows squeaky clean is a must. Yes, this time of year it can be a tricky, however, having a smudge-free view of the outside will create an open feeling and hopefully let in a few energizing rays of sunlight!
In addition to keeping the home spotlessly clean and ready to show at a moment's notice, also consider how to improve its air quality. Since many houses remain closed up during the winter, they can become extremely stuffy and filled with stagnant air. When weather permits, turn off the heat, open a few windows and doors and air it out. Keep carpets vacuumed, pet areas tidy, and if you have any throw rugs, be aware that they can hold odors that will permeate an entire room, such as damp doggie or wet wetsuit! Be diligent about changing filters and if you burn wood in a fireplace, keep it clean when not in use. Finally, provide plenty of doormats to prevent prospective buyers from tracking in mud or dirt.
Appeal to the senses - Using pleasant scents to make a home more appealing is not a new concept. Perhaps it is so effective during the winter because we spend a lot of time indoors. The goal in using aromatherapy is to impart a cozy and inviting feeling for potential buyers. Try a crock-pot full of mulled cider or carafe of vanilla-flavored coffee paired with the inviting aroma of still-warm baked goods. Naturally fragrant scents like pine, bayberry, and cloves are another good choice. A bowl of citrus fruit or beautiful apples is another way to add pops of color, and guess what?-fruit usually last longer than flowers!
Even along the Cape Fear Coast, the winter months have always been regarded as the slowest time of year for home sales. However, that trend seems to be shifting. This phenomenon is likely due to an increase in online home shoppers.  Regardless of why, just make sure that you're ready to list or search and remember, spring really is just around the corner!

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