“Don’t know why there’s no sun up in the sky
Stormy Weather…” http://bit.ly/KVi85E
Billie Holiday may not have known much about Real Estate, but the woman can sing!
The sun has disappeared behind rain clouds this week, and I got to thinking about the effect of weather on home sales. Various small scale studies have proven that poor or unexpected weather (everything from tornadoes to unseasonal rain showers) can negatively impact average home sales. According to NAR (National Association of Realtors) statistics, national home sales were down 3.8% from April to May 2011 due to tornadoes and other inclement weather scenarios across the country. Any change greater than 2% is statistically significant in terms of the number game, and a change in home sales of nearly 4% during the busy spring season is a big deal.
I’m not here to advise you to stock up on survival goods in case of a tornado or other natural disaster, but I would definitely advise you to be prepared for inclement weather, even just gray rainy days, if your home is on the market.
Much like the skies above, Buyers can begin to feel dismal and dreary as they search for homes on rainy days. As the Seller, it is your job to ensure that your home is presentable and welcoming despite outdoor conditions. Will your home leave Buyers feeling chilly and disappointed, or will your property make a spash on rainy days?
Treat spring storms as you would a cold winter’s day. Turn up the heat a couple of degrees- Buyers will appreciate warm shelter from the rain, and will feel cozy right off the bat. If you are able to prepare for scheduled showings, leave lamps on throughout your home for an ambient glow. Turn on all exterior lights to draw Buyers in from the storm. Make sure there is a fresh clean rug inside the door of your home for prospective Buyers to wipe their feet on. Bake up a batch of ready-made cookies before you leave for work in the morning. Your home will smell homey instead of cold and damp; the sense of smell is one of the most powerful and lasting senses we possess, and Buyers will remember the impression a scent like this leaves when they look back on their home search.
By the same token, for Buyers willing to brave a drizzle or a downpour, this can be an excellent opportunity to check out a home’s performance during inclement weather. What type of shelter does the home offer at the entrance? Is there a covered porch, awning, or trees overhead to protect you from the deluge? How about inside the home- feel around windows and doors for drafts, breathe deeply- does the home smell fresh & clean or damp & dingy, check both the attic and basement for potential leaks and puddles. A certified home inspector will be checking items like these if this is the home you decide to purchase, but you can get a feel for the property’s weather performance even before you make an offer. You could be living there one day- it is to your benefit to know what a rainy day feels like in your potential new home.
Good news- I help people Buy & Sell homes in all kinds of weather! Call me to find out what your property is worth, and which homes are worth looking at right now for a great purchase deal.