How to: Show your home in winter

Tis the season they say – the season for snow.

In 2013, more than 75 per cent of respondents to a Royal LePage survey said inclement weather had at least some impact on housing market activity. And, given the fact Calgarians will be seeing plenty of it before spring makes a welcome appearance, now might be a good time to review some helpful tips on how to make the best of the winter season when it comes to putting your home on the market.

Clear the way
To increase your home’s wintertime curb appeal, be sure to keep all paths clear of snow. In addition to keeping yourself in good standing with the city bylaws department, shoveling your walks every time the snow falls will ensure any would-be buyers make it safely to your front step. To help rid your walk of any ice that may accumulate, keep a little salt or ice melter near your front door (out of view of course) and sprinkle a little when necessary. And to keep your floor free of slush and grime, make sure to have a good mat near the front door.

Light it up
At a time when the sun seems to set mere moments after rising, ensuring your home is warm and well lit is more important than ever. Although it may result in some short-term pain come utility bill time, providing a bright and welcoming environment puts your home in the best possible light – pun intended – and could be the difference that induces someone to make an offer. So open those blinds (dust them too), flick on those lights (energy-efficient bulbs?), kick on the fireplace (just briefly anyways) and turn up the heat (just a notch).

Set the Mood
While there are those that will tell you a little Enya and the smell of cinnamon are sure ways to make visitors feel welcome, there are plenty of potential buyers out there who don’t care for either. When it comes to such things, the less is more approach is usually a safe bet. Many people are allergic to certain scents and deodorizers; so don’t spray the air or plug-in air fresheners. For music, classical is always a good bet, so long as it’s kept to a level that doesn’t suggest you’re expecting a conductor anytime soon.

Tidy Up
It might go without saying that tidying up your house is perhaps the biggest thing you can do to improve your chances of selling, but there are a few wintertime additions to your list of chores that should receive special attention, particularly in the backyard. Try to keep more summer-friendly items in storage. Those new patio chairs may look great in August, but in January they can be a tad depressing. Same goes for that garden hose – a useful too in summer, it becomes a unnecessary eyesore come the depths of winter. Also be sure to keep any plants killed off by winter’s chill trimmed to a minimum or disposed of altogether.

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