I am going to go on record saying that I am giddy with the turn in the weather. Perfectly crisp, dry, fall weather combined with bright blue skies make this time of year my favorite.
You have likely noticed the panoramic landscapes have begun to take on their autumn glow and the folks atop Mount Washington will soon be breaking out the shovels.
While spring always seems to be an overdue respite from the clutches of winter, I have to say that this time of year brings a smile to my face nearly every morning.
This is also one of my favorite times to show real estate. We don’t have to worry about tracking mud and snow into the seller’s home. The temperatures are perfect for slogging all over the valley in search of that perfect home without finishing your day in a ball of sweat. And the opportunity for sellers to “stage” their homes to create a warm and inviting aura is better than ever.
As many of you are aware, smell is one of the more powerful senses we use when observing and evaluating just about everything. It is also the most “remembered,” meaning we can recall scents longer than any of the other senses. Scents can either waft through your senses like a freshly laundered sheet or smack you in the brain like a 2-by-6 to your forehead. Either way, they are going to have a significant impact on your overall impression of the subject at hand.
When I first walked into the duplex I had just closed on, I was treated to the 2-by-6-to-the-forehead experience. It seems the disgruntled (and displaced) tenants were not pleased with being asked to leave their home by the former owner and opted to punish him, and inadvertently me. They left their basset hound alone in the house for just over two weeks.
Although they provided him with plenty of food and water, he was clearly not able to relieve himself outside and thus ruined multiple carpets and a pristine living room of antique hardwood floors. Aside from my feelings that they should be thrown in jail for their treatment of the dog, you can imagine the smell was rather memorable.
This is an extreme example I sincerely hope you do not have to experience, but one to bear in mind when prepping your home for sale. I highly recommend having a friend or neighbor walk into your home and give you some honest feedback about their experience.
We, as homeowners, are typically incapable of objectively evaluating the scent of our home since we live “in” it every day. A hint of garlic from last night’s pasta or some lingering bacon smells from yesterday’s breakfast can simply set the wrong tone and the wrong first impression. You want to be emanating Yankee Candle, not Moody’s Diner.
“Outside of the home, there are many opportunities to spruce up the yard and make that first impression count,” Badger Realty agent David Cianciolo said.
I like the fact that the grass has slowed its growing a bit. This means you can go a week or two between mowing. There are fewer nicer smells than fresh cut grass, so planning your cut before a showing will tighten the look of the front yard and cast a nice scent over the area.
I also like to trim hedges and shrubs at this time of year as well. It cleans up their look for the winter and unless you cover them, will allow you to put them out of your mind until spring.
This is a great time of year to clean your windows as well. Not just because you neglected them all summer like I did. When showing off your view and letting in the sunlight for the showing (not to mention through the whole winter) you will want your windows to shine. Touch up any peeling paint, fix that broken downspout and simply eliminate any of the clutter from the yard. You certainly don’t want to run G.I. Joe or Barbie through the snow blower, do you?
The last thing I encourage my sellers to do is take every advantage of fresh air while you can. We all know the season of closed windows and quickly-closed doors is upon us. Whenever possible, leave windows and doors open and let all the sunshine and fresh air into your home that you can.
I have had sellers open windows and turn on the heat a bit just for a showing. They were not trying to hide anything, but simply provided some fresh air and kept the home comfortably warm while we were there.
Right along those lines, this is also a good opportunity to crank up that heat, if you haven’t already, and get that first-run smell out of the system.
If you are thinking of selling your home, consider this time of year as a great option. While it is certainly not the busiest time of year for sales, there are still many opportunities and buyers out there.
I am of the opinion that skiers and other winter enthusiasts are out there looking at exactly this time of year. Your warm, fresh-air filled, vanilla candle smelling, clean-windowed home might be just what they are looking for.