With snow piled high all around us, Maine’s Southern Mid-Coast Region just missed out on another foot of snow over Valentine’s Weekend, but we are in a blustery deep-freeze right now! If you are one of the intrepid Home Sellers who doesn’t let a Maine winter stop you from putting your house on the market, there are a few extra duties you should prepare for when the snow piles up . . . and continues to fall.
Snow Removal – The driveway should be clear of snow and ice and the walkway to the front door shoveled. But, you also need to clear a path to your back door, from your door to your garage and garden shed, and to any other points of interest. Buyers want to see it all!
NOTE: If your roof is collecting snow, and icicles are hanging, consider raking the roof, or hiring a professional to remove the snow and ice. It is better to get that weight off the house, and if there is a thaw, the buyer and their inspector may actually be able to see the condition of the shingles, chimney, etc. You don’t want the snow to cover vent pipes, either. Along those same lines, be sure to keep your furnace (direct vent) and dryer vents clear of snow and a path cleared for oil or propane delivery.
The Real Estate Lawn Sign – Your Broker will appreciate it if you are able to keep the lawn sign positioned above the snow banks so it is visible and if you can protect it from the municipal plow guys, you are our hero! Over the snow banks, the easiest way for a Buyer (and their Broker) to find your house is to spot that lawn sign!
Interior Clean-Up – Wet boots packed with snow, salt or sand will bring the mess inside, and can also damage flooring. When you commit to showing your home in the winter, be prepared for the visitors! We can request that Buyers remove their shoes, so it is nice to provide a place to put them – a boot tray or a washable throw rug by the door is a good idea, along with a bench or chair for folks to remove and put boots back on. Be prepared to clean that area up after each showing. This may help for your own daily comings and goings, too, especially if you have kids and pets!
Photos – Your lawn and gardens are buried under 4’ of snow right now. If you are like most proud home owners, you have photos of those beautiful gardens, relaxing patio arrangements, stone paths, vegetable gardens, and flowering shrubs. Be prepared to provide your broker with digital photos of your yard and property in more hospitable seasons!
Warmth – If you routinely set your thermostats lower during the overnight hours and while you are at work, be prepared to leave the temperature up (but not sauna-like!) on days when showings are scheduled, so the home is warm and welcoming as Buyers enter from the cold.
Buyer Inspections – We don’t envy professional home inspectors (or septic inspectors!) who must do their jobs outdoors in winter weather. Roof or chimney repairs, or exterior painting work, that may be negotiated as part of the Buyer’s Due Diligence process probably won’t be able to be completed prior to closing. These jobs require roofs clear of snow and ice, or temperatures above 55. In that case, the solution may be to escrow Seller dollars for the work to be completed by the Buyer after closing.
The upside is that you will most likely have fewer showings for which to prepare, because the cold and snow of winter tends to weed out the “Looky-Loo” Buyers. Those who do come to look will be serious about buying, and buying now! And, because so many Sellers wait until Spring, your house for sale will have less competition right now.
It is possible! If you are ready to sell, don’t let the snow and cold weather stop you. This is Maine, after all, and we don’t stop for a little snow!
Call us today to Sell Your Home!