We’ve already had our first snow and freezing temperatures of the season, so it’s past time to consider if your house is ready for the change of seasons, especially if you’re selling a home. Making sure your home withstands the snow, wind and cold is vital in keeping the inside warm and cozy for your family as well as for potential home buyers.
Here’s a few tips to get you started:
“Colorado buyers love fireplaces,” Bill Hourigan with The Platinum Group, REALTORS® said. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, stocking up on firewood is a good plan. The idea and concept of snuggling up in front of a crackling fire when it’s cold and snowy outside is a great selling point.
2. Clean the Chimney
If you haven’t done so in the last couple years, get the chimney professionally cleaned. Consider covering the top of the chimney too, as animals have been known to explore the nooks and crannies. If the stone or brickwork on the exterior of the chimney is showing signs of wear, seal the cracks to prevent further damage, especially with frequent freezing and thawing.
3. Get your Furnace Checked
Being proactive when it comes to having your furnace serviced helps ensure your home stays warm all winter. A tune-up and safety inspection is inexpensive but well worth it, along with changing your furnace filters. It won’t hurt to have the technician inspect your hot water heater as well.
“Making sure your fireplace and furnace are serviced ahead of time is a great idea,” Hourigan said. “Because the buyers will ask for that to be done anyway, and this will help you circumvent any surprises.”
4. Replace Worn Weather Stripping
Having efficient weather stripping on your home’s exterior doors can save energy costs and avoid cold drafts. Inspect the doors and window frames to make sure you can’t see a gap or daylight and if you do, use new weather stripping to create a good seal.
5. Keep Ceiling Fans Going
Circulating warm air is a great way of saving on your heating bill. For cold months, you want the blades to be moving in a clockwise direction; this can save up to 10 percent on your energy costs.
6. Programmable Thermostat Lower Heating Costs
“Getting your electric and heating bills down months before you list can be very helpful,” Hourigan said. “We always ask to see several months of utility bills when we have a buyer looking at potential homes.”
If you don’t have a programmable thermostat or smart thermostat, consider getting one. It doesn’t make sense to heat your home when no one is there. Programming your furnace to kick on and stay on while you’re home, but work less during the times you’re away or sleeping, saves a good deal of money but is also a good selling point.
7. Help Buyers Get in the Door
Snowy driveways and slick walkways will make it difficult and discouraging for buyers to view your home. Be sure to clear a path to the front door, and don’t forget to salt the walkways, so buyers can safely tour your house and not worry about falling on their way in.
“Keep in mind that salt can be abrasive and damage some types of walkways,” Hourigan said. “Kitty litter can also be used.”
8. Keep it Light
Now that daylight savings time is over and winter days are shorter and darker it’s important to give your home some light. Pull back the drapes and turning on lamps and overhead lights to help your entire home look and feel brighter.
Don’t forget that no matter what season you are selling your home, deep cleaning, de-cluttering and de-personalizing are still critical steps in preparing your home for sale.
Hiring an experienced realtor who understands the changing dynamics of selling during cold weather can help you get top dollar for your home, with fewer difficulties. A real estate professional you can trust will help you prepare ahead of time for most challenges, including weather.
The Platinum Group REALTORS® are your local experts in Colorado Springs. With over 80 percent of their business coming from personal referrals, they don’t focus on more business, just better business. Guaranteeing platinum service and platinum results in every price range, in every neighborhood.