Winter officially arrives in just over a week. For some it arrived early and for lucky southerners, it may not come at all.
If you are selling your house in the winter, you may be tempted to procrastinate on property maintenance in the cooler weather. You may think that letting the next owner do the work is a good way to save a little money. Don't freeze now. It is never a good idea to let maintenance slip!
A house properly maintained for winter will show buyers that the house has probably been well maintained throughout your time there.
I always recommend starting from the top down, outside – and then inside.
There are two reasons for this:
1 It’s getting cold and you want the outside work complete before a winter storm hits
2 It is always better to start with the roof to avoid having any problems trickle down to the rest of the house.
- Inspect the roof. Check shingles, flashing, and eaves. Contact a roofer if needed.
- HVAC – make an appointment to get exterior units serviced.
- Inspect the gutters and downspouts and clean again, if needed now that all the leaves have fallen. Ensure drainage goes several feet away from your house’s foundation.
- Inspect the caulking / weather-stripping. Seal any cracks around doors and windows that you missed in the fall.
- Check the foundation for cracks. Repair if needed to avoid moisture penetration.
- Inspect the siding for any cracks /bricks for loose bricks or mortar.
- Clean the chimney; check the flue for proper functioning.
- Inspect storm windows for any broken panes or missing glazing. Make sure they still fit well now that the weather has cooled off.
If you use a service for snow removal, confirm that everything is in order.
Don't wait for the first storm!
- Trim trees – cut anything approaching the roof or windows. Make an appointment with a professional for any limbs near power lines.
- Ensure all exterior lighting is functioning properly - essential for long winter nights!
- Remove any damaged or dead plants.
- Store garden hoses and turn off outdoor water.
- Drain and turn off faucets and sprinkler systems. If you haven’t already done this in the fall, make sure there is no water in the pipes or irrigation system to keep lines from freezing and breaking.
- Clean and store the mower and other garden tools.
- Get the snow blower out and serviced, if needed.
- Have shovels and sand, salt or gravel at the ready.
- Furnaces – make an appointment to get them serviced.
- Replace duct filters
- Hot water radiators: lubricate pump and motor. Bleed any air from radiators.
- Forced Air Heaters - vacuum all grates.
- Electric baseboards – vacuum all heat exchange surfaces.
- Thermostats – vacuum sensors and contact points. Check that they are functioning.
- Clean the humidifier
- Reverse Ceiling Fans so that fan blades turn clockwise to circulate warm air that accumulates at the ceiling.
- Check the attic insulation. Escaping heat and air out of the top of your home can cause dangerous ice dams to form on your roof.
- Look for any sign of leaks and be sure they are taken care of.
- Garage Doors – Clean and lubricate hinges, rollers and tracks. Tighten all screws and bolts. Make sure all gaps are addressed to avoid water infiltration.
- Check doors and windows for proper caulking.
- Check for drafts at doors or windows. Get plastic insulation kits if needed.
- Clean away all fall dirt from floors and carpets.
- Clean windows as needed. Dirt blocks warming sunlight from entering.
- Clean and store any fall gear.
- Prepare mats for boots.
- Put out the coat rack, if needed.
- Vacuum smoke detectors and replace all batteries, if you missed this during the fall. Test them to make sure they work – especially if you have a fireplace or stove.
- Check fire extinguishers for the servicing date.
- Check any storm lanterns, battery operated radios for proper functioning.
- Buy some extra batteries.
- Check the supply of emergency candles and matches/lighters.
If you are putting your home on the market, the holidays can be a very stressful time. Most people are not focused on buying a house at this time of year. This may extend the time it takes to sell your property.
If selling during the holidays isn't something you wish to consider right now, we can help.
If you have come to the realization that it is time to move right now to have a better life, but your house isn’t ready for market, we can help.
If you are juggling too many responsibilities to sell your house yourself this fall, then there are people who specialize in the sale of properties "as is" - usually within a week to resolve the situation quickly. We have a team of professionals able to assist you immediately.
Contact us for details.
Next time we will look at some seasonal decorating ideas.
So thanks for reading my post. I'm so glad you're here!
And I really look forward to getting into more great stuff in future posts -- so that you can
Turn Your House To $OLD!