Tip Tuesday: Winter Buying and Selling

Let’s face it; the winter just isn’t convenient.  You’re cold. It’s slushy and isn’t as pretty as the beautiful landscapes, full trees, and blooming flowers of Spring/Summer.  Plus in the warmer months, staying outside and walking around is no problem.All of these things tend to turn buyers away from looking at houses in the winter and many often wait until Spring.  However, the winter is a great time to buy because it is very revealing of the home.

Image Credit: realtor.com.

Think about it…a home being able to survive Spring/Summer is usually fairly easy. A home being able to endure all of the demands that winter offers is huge!  

  • Did you feel cold while looking through the house?  
  • Are the windows or doors letting in drafts?  Is the basement getting damp because of the snow?  
  • Is the roof starting to bow because of the weight of the snow?  
  • Do you see water stains in the attic or ceiling as the snow starts to melt?  
  • Are the gutters properly working or are they clogged?  
  • Can your car make it up the driveway with ice?
  • How fast can the home heat up?

Windows, roof, basement dryness and mechanicals are all large issues that cost a lot!  Being able to spot any issues before you purchase a home will be monumental to not only your bank account, but to also your peace of mind and comfortability.

The snow will also reveal a lot about your neighborhood.

  • Does it get plowed well?  
  • Does it get plowed in a good time manner?
  • Do your neighbors take care of their sidewalks?

So as a seller, what does all of this mean?  It means to stay on top of your home in the winter.  Issues won’t get covered up; they’ll be revealed.

  • Be sure to have your furnace/boiler serviced and repaired as needed.  
  • Clean the snow off of your roof and if you see any potential issues such as a water stain or bowing, don’t wait!  Call in a professional immediately.  Often times a small issue can be resolved before it becomes a large one and costs you even more.
  • Clean your gutters regularly.  
  • Shovel your driveway and walk-ways thoroughly and ice regularly.  You won’t want a potential home buyer to slip on your walkway as they’re walking up to see your home!
  • Assess your windows and doors.  Do you feel drafts?  Consider simple techniques to draft proof them or be prepared to have to address this factor in the form of a credit after an inspection.  Talk to your agent from the beginning about what your bottom line is, what you’re willing to address and not address and how you plan to tackle any issues that arise in an inspection.  Having a good strategy in place with your agent will help them to represent you better.

Overall, many houses get sold successfully in the winter.  Winter does not mean impossibility in the real estate market.  On the contrary, we see extraordinary opportunities!  So don’t let the winter scare you away from buying or selling your home!  Be sure to contact us today to get your process started!

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