Turn your home into a show-stopper and sell it this winter!
There are steps to be taken before listing a home at any point throughout the year. However, before winter there are additional things that need to be taken care of, especially after a drought summer and going into this potentially very wet winter (fingers crossed for El Niño). These steps will not only impress potential buyers, but they will help to protect the house in the future, regardless of who is living there.
1. Turn off and empty water from structures
Whether or not you need to turn off the water to your outdoor features and pools depends on what part of the country you live in and what the winters in your area are like. Some places require you to leave the water running so that the water does not freeze in the pipes, but in other places it is necessary to shut-off and drain the pipes to prevent freezing. If your area is not one in which you can use your swimming pool year round, cover it with a colorful tarp or plastic sheeting.
2. Keep up your garden and landscaping
Now is the time that home owners usually harvest the last remaining fruits and vegetables from their seasonal plants and remove the vines completely.
- Certain flowers need to be dead-headed
- Rose stems should be trimmed back to five main stems, but ground cover or carpet roses should be cut to 6 inches
- Deciduous bushes need to be trimmed so they can take-in the necessary nutrients for proper root growth throughout winter
- Beds and bushes should be covered in 6 inches of fir bark or redwood mulch to act as protection from the cold
Think ahead and plan for the next homeowners in the spring. Before selling your home this winter, plant some bulbs that will spring to life for the new homeowners.
3. Fertilize, compost, aerate
Fall is the best time to fertilize your lawn! Fertilizing before the cold weather hits helps the roots strengthen as well as increase nitrogen storage, resulting in greener grass come spring.
4. Light it up!
Outdoor illumination does more than boast the home’s beauty in the evening, it discourages intruders, it protects those walking to/from the house from tripping or slipping, and it can make your home the perfect accessory to a gorgeous sunset or star-filled night. There are even tons of eco-friendly options to choose from now!
5. Paint and stain
Before the winter cold sets in, get your home’s paint to look outstanding! Whether its a full paint job or just minor touch-ups, make sure that it will be dry before the snow and rain can affect it. When preparing to sell your home, real estate agents will suggest to stay with mostly neutral tones so as to not scare off potential buyers. If money is an issue (painting an entire house can be expensive), then focus on the areas that need the most work and will make the biggest difference.
This really should be #1, but oh well… Get those cracks in your exterior sealed! Many insects and pests will be trying to get someplace warm for the winter, and you don’t want that place to be your attic. Make sure your vents are tightly fitted with screens or cloth, firewood and leaf piles are moved away from the foundation and trees are trimmed away from the roof so that pests are kept at-bay and outside.
7. Clean out gutters
Aside from the leaves piling up and ice damns forming in the downspouts, leaving cluttered gutters unattended can lead to mold. When it rains or snows, the leaves and gutter gunk retain the water. Regular cleanings of your gutter are a good idea, and one big sweep after all of the leaves have fallen make life easier. If this isn’t enough, you can invest in gutter helmets or guards, although they are expensive and do not offer a quick payback. Make sure your downspouts are angled way from the house enough so the water does not run towards the foundation.
8. Power wash and reseal
A powerful cleaning can reveal cracks that were previously hidden by dirt and grime. If you don’t want to repave your driveway, walkway or chimney, focus on the worst parts and take care of those. However, anything that is potentially dangerous or a colossal eye sore needs to be take care of right away to make selling your home easier.
For real estate inquiries, stop by the beautiful Montrêux Welcome Center at 16475 Bordeaux Dr. in Reno, NV or call us at 775.849.9444. The Welcome Center is open 7 days a week, from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.