Winter Is Coming… So What Does That Mean for Buyers and Sellers?

winter photoWinter is coming and even though we’ve had some glorious weather for the past couple weeks, the threat of the cold and snow are looming around the corner. Many people assume the fall and winter are slow times in real estate, but in reality, sellers who decide to stick it out will often find buyers who are more serious in their real estate search, not scared away by cooler weather and often have a move-in date in mind. Buyers will also find sellers this time of year are very motivated and more likely to negotiate than fair-weather sellers. The bottom line is don’t be discouraged if your house is on the market because there are determined buyers out there still on the hunt. Here are some tips from REALTOR Magazine for making your property looks it’s best during the fall:

·     The most obvious tip: rake up leaves on a frequent basis;

·     Inspect your gutters regularly and remove any leaves that get trapped;

·     Carry on weeding garden beds and walkways;

·     Remove all annual flowers that are no longer blooming and plants that are past their “best before” date.  Dead vegetation gives the impression of a home not cared for;

·     If you’re experiencing a warm, dry fall in your area, you’ll still need to irrigate your lawn (according to local by-laws of course);

·     Fertilize your lawn before the ground freezes (unless you’re lucky enough to live in a year-round warm climate).  This will give your grass a head start in the spring.  However, check with your local garden center first to find out if this is the right course of action for your particular environment;

·     Readjust the timers on outdoor lighting displays since it now gets dark earlier;

·     Give your gardens some liveliness by planting fall flowers such as chrysanthemums. Choose a color that compliments the exterior of your home;

·     Redesign your urns and flowers pots – it’s time for a fall theme;

·     Add some vignettes. Sometimes, it’s the little things that produce the most attention.  My personal favorite for generating anticipation in potential buyers is to create a simple fall vignette on the porch. Pumpkins add a punch of color and provide a warm, welcoming look when blended with something interesting like a couple of antique lanterns, for example.  Be careful not to add too many items to the vignette or it will appear too cluttered.

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