Typically, real estate professionals would advise home sellers to wait until the spring or summer months to list their home on the market. To put it mildly, 2020 is a completely different year. The COVID pandemic has disrupted many aspects of life as we know it. Spending more time at home has shed new light on some key elements of life that weren't so obvious before, like the possibility of working remotely or online school, and it's accentuated the compulsion to live out our dreams, now.
Despite the fact we're in a traditionally slower time for real estate, the current market continues to be scorching, not only in Central Oregon but throughout the entire country, too. A combination of an ever-increasing buyer pool and extremely low inventory has created a sellers' market and an ideal time to sell.
Even with record-paced home sales, it's still important to prepare one's home for a cold-season sale and to show off the home's winter readiness and design, so it will sell for top dollar. Weather can somewhat limit what can be done outside, but there's still plenty that can be completed inside and out to help welcome buyers to their new home.
The cold weather, ice and snow can make viewing homes difficult. There's nothing less inviting then pulling up to a dark house with a foot of snow to trudge through to get to the front door. Help draw buyers into the home by turning on all of the lights and making sure walkways, driveways, decks and patios are cleared off of snow and ice. Clean up the landscape where possible. Since it's getting dark by later afternoon, consider installing outdoor lighting to illuminate walkways, landscaping and especially the entry doors. Place an attractive all-weather door mat to wipe off shoes, both inside and outside.
Staging a home properly is important—but taking care of maintenance items is critical. Have the furnace serviced and turn up the thermostat to a comfortable level. Buyers will notice a chilly home. Seal drafty windows and doors with new weatherstripping and caulk and turn on the gas fireplaces to display how warm and cozy the home can be. For darker rooms, bring in floor lamps and remove heavy or bulky window coverings to take advantage of all possible natural light. Make the home smell delicious with natural fragrances or freshly baked cookies, or warm up a half-dozen store-bought pumpkin spice muffins in the oven.
Holiday decorations will make a house feel more homey, but don't be too forward with personal preferences and always decorate minimally. Tastefully decorate a smaller Christmas tree in the corner, use simple holiday lighting to highlight architectural elements or display a festive pine-cone centerpiece or wreath. Add pops of warm and pleasant color with throw blankets and pillows. Taking all of these simple steps will create a cozy and enjoyable experience while residing in the home and will communicate the feeling to prospective home buyers as well.