By Anessa V. Cohen
Today is already a cloudy and yucky day. Sunshine is nowhere to be found. And here I decided not to close my pool yet in the hopes that I could stretch out the summer! This year’s summer turned out to be short and cool in comparison to past years.
Here is hoping this is just a one-day thing, and we still have a shot of some warm and sunny days ahead before the cold weather sneaks up when we least expect it and then decides to stay longer than any of us would like.
With winter just around the bend, I would like to take a moment to discuss some checklist items for those sellers who will be placing their houses on the market for sale during the winter. With just a little preparation and thought during those bad-weather days, and even for the days when the weather shines bright, these tips make the accessibility and desirability of the homes more inviting for the buying public.
• Brightness and sunlight make people happy! If your house is being shown during the day and the sun is shining, utilize the sunlight to enhance the ambiance of your home. When you know a prospective buyer is due to arrive, open your shades or blinds and let the sunlight in. Open any shutters or other window treatments that can be adjusted to let as much sunlight into the house as possible. Do this in every room of the house. All buyers like to see how much sunlight is possible in the houses that they consider prior to making a purchase. Simply making sure that all possible sunlight enters your house only enhances your home’s desirability.
• When your house is shown on a cloudy day or when it is dark at night, a buyer needs to see the house ablaze with light to show it at its best. If you use low-wattage or fluorescent light bulbs, take out those bulbs and put in at least 60-watt bulbs during the time your house is on the market and being shown. Nothing is a bigger turnoff to buyers than walking into a house that has dim lighting and seems as though everything is muted in memory of the dead. Dim lighting makes your house look shadowy and faded no matter how nice or charmingly decorated it may really be. This is not the impression you want a buyer to have when considering your home and comparing it to all the others he may have seen.
• Winter brings with it cold weather, snow, and ice. When you are trying to prepare your house to look its best on the inside, take a little time to consider how the house presents itself with whatever weather is going on outside as well. If the weather is rainy, consider that anyone coming into your home is going to bring water in with them, whether with wet shoes or umbrellas. Make sure to place an absorbent mat on the floor near the entrance door, together with some kind of receptacle to hold wet umbrellas. Having the prospective buyers worrying about bringing wet footprints or a wet umbrella into your home will prevent them from focusing on your house and all the wonderful things you want them to notice.
• After any snowfall, make sure to go out and shovel your walk and sidewalk so you won’t have prospective buyers frustrated by having to tramp through mounds of snow before even getting to the front door. When shoveling, do not forget to shovel a path from the sidewalk to the street, either by making sure your driveway is clear to the street or by making a path from the sidewalk to the street.
I have seen buyers who have come to view houses they were interested in actually refuse to tramp through the snow to get to the door and not want to come back until the owner either shoveled the snow or the snow melted. This is not a good situation for those wanting to sell their homes.
Everyone wants a successful sale with the best results possible. Taking the time to make accessibility easy and lighting favorable to the house will only add value and hopefully yield successful results.
Anessa Cohen lives in Cedarhurst and is a licensed real-estate broker and a licensed N.Y.S. mortgage broker with over 20 years of experience, offering full-service residential and commercial real-estate services (Anessa V Cohen Realty) and mortgaging services (First Meridian Mortgage) in the Five Towns and throughout the tri-state area. She can be reached at 516-569-5007 or via her website, www.AVCrealty.com. Readers are encouraged to send questions or comments to anessa.cohen@AVCrealty.com.