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Biggest mistake when selling in winter

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis February 25, 2013 06:40 AM

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OK, I had been hot to trot writing about the early spring market back in January when the temps were unseasonably mild and it looked like we were all going to get off easy again.

No such luck. Instead, we're stuck with winter for a few more weeks. And if you want to sell your house right now amid all those mounds of snow and treacherous walkways, you have to adapt.

So what's the biggest mistake? Not shoveling enough!

By that, I don't mean hastily digging out a cursory footpath to the house and sloppily shoveling the driveway until it looks mostly clear.

But if you want people to brave the winter weather and look at your house, you had better make sure there's safe and easy parking, not just in your driveway, but on the street.

Here's what Rona Fischman of 4 Buyers Real Estate in Cambridge had to say on the subject. (For short timers here, Rona used to write the afternoon post on this blog and is sorely missed.)

I interviewed her for a piece on winter selling that appeared, well last winter, but no matter. It's an evergreen, as editors like to say of features that have long lives.

"If they are concerned about breaking a leg, then they are not paying attention to your house in a good way," she told me.

But it's more than just about safety, but also convenience and even aesthetics, she helpfully explained.

If someone is forced to circle the neighborhood looking for a spot to park amid the snowdrifts, they might just decide to keep driving on past.

And, while you put your back into it, be careful where you hurl all that dirty snow. Nothing is a bigger turnoff than ugly, char black mounds of snow near the doorway.

If you have to, hire an extra hand or two. After all, if it results in getting a few more buyers to take a look at your house and maybe even make an offer, it's money well spent.

Been to any really bad winter open houses? What's on your list of the biggest winter bloopers for home sellers?

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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