Yesterday was what I think of as 'switch day'… the day we turn off daylight savings time and the light switch turns off right after work. That means that if anyone looks at a property after a traditional work day it will already be dark outside.
The dark evenings seem to happen so quickly that it's easy to overlook what a huge impact it can have on showings if your home is for sale and you are showing it in the evening.
I showed the house above after work one November. Our welcome was the photo on the left. At least there was a 'FOR SALE' sign out front which helped find it…forget about reading house numbers. It was good I brought my flashlight along so I could see to open the lockbox, get the key and open the door…all without tripping on the front steps!
This house was vacant so I expected it to be fairly dark, but if you are still living in your home (or aren't living too far away) and you have a night showing turn on your lights to welcome your prospective buyers… it can make a huge difference in how they feel about your home. A lighted house feels warm and inviting.
To give credit to the house above they did have a light in the living room on a timer. Unfortunately, it was burned out… why the window on the left is still dark even with the lights turned on. In winter you don't have to worry about mowing the lawn and tending plants for curb appeal… focus shifts instead to shoveling snow (at least that's not here yet!) and turning on the lights.
Did you know that people search with their minds but usually buy with their hearts? Serious property searches rarely include properties that don't make sense in price and basic needs so personal visits are to find what 'feels' right. If your house is lit and welcoming it can give you an edge over those that aren't. They may feel better about it before they even step through the front door… more important than ever at this time of year when there are fewer buyers looking and more patience is required!
Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results – Email – Minneapolis-St. Paul Realtor