If you live in the Pacific Northwest from the months of November to beginning of February it gets dark about 4:30-5:00 pm. This precludes a large portion of the working population from seeing important things about your house, such as the yard. For the most part darkness does not show the house in the best of light either (pun intended). Spaces seem smaller, expansive views to a yard or outside entertaining area are missed. The ability to see what level of privacy you have or don’t have with the existing neighbors along with the muddy mushy yard everyone gets during the rainy season here are never fun to walk around. In other areas during the same time period I am given to understand there is snow, which I imagine is (s)no fun at all. Hee hee!
One of the most important things you can do when you sell your home is make an excellent first impression. In starting out positively you bias the buyer to think positively about the rest of the home even if there are things that don’t meet up with their expressed criteria. This first impression is made up of a variety of things that the buyer notices consciously and unconsciously when they view your property.
The exterior of your home’s greatest first impression is when your yard and landscaping look their best. For folks in the greater Seattle area typically this is twice a year, Spring and Fall. Spring has great new blooms to show off, flowering trees, lush green lawns and bulbs popping out. Fall the rains have started again, lawns green back up and the trees turning color add a variety of brightness to the landscaping. Nice landscaping that looks well cared for also adds to the impression that this is a well-kept home, not a neglected one.
Are the paths cleared and accessible? Were the trees and shrubs cut back from the windows to let as much light in as possible as well as give them time to leaf out again.
So yes, the time of year matters a great deal in making a good first impression.
Things to add to your checklist:
- Try to list your home during the times that your landscaping looks the best.
- Make sure that your home can be seen in the daylight if people want to come during after 9:00 -5:00 work hours.
- Care for your landscaping well in advance of the time you go on the market, the year before is the best time to heavily trim back shrubs and trees or to re-seed your lawn
Can we all list our homes during the perfect time of the year when our yards look divine and there is just enough daylight to show our house off to perfection but not make it too hot? No, so here are my tips if you need to list “off season” –
Make sure all the lights on the interior and exterior of the home are operational. Try a brighter wattage or adding a free standing lamp if you think a room looks particularly dark.
Do you have pictures of what your yard might look like in the spring? Post them next to the closest door to the outside area or near the real estate flyer.
Add seasonal greenery, even an evergreen or ornamental winter blooming shrub in a nice pot by the door helps the first impression as buyers come up your walk.
I would be delighted to help you start planning the sales strategy for your house. Send me your email address or phone number and we can start planning now.