Preparing your home to sell by winterizing your home this fall

In many parts of the country, it is becoming more and more apparent that the cooler temperatures of the fall season is fast-approaching. The fall is, nonetheless, a spectacular time of year - full of color and near perfect weather. If you are planning on selling your home this fall (or winter) you should take advantage of the picture perfect natural backdrop of autumn to show off your home. In addition, you should take the time to properly winterize your home while the climate still permits. Buyers are typically attracted to homes that are “move in ready” which is why experts often include suggestions for winterization among their top home selling tips. Even if you have no plans to put your home on the market this fall, winterizing your home will save you a surprising amount of money over the course of a single winter. Whether you consider the following ideas to be home selling tips or just homeowner tips, you are certain to benefit from putting them into practice around your home. 

Locate drafts and leaks – leaks around your home can cost you a small fortune over the course of a year. In the summer the air conditioning leaks out while the heat escapes during the winter months. Leaks are most common around windows and doors although light fixtures and electrical outlets can also be a source of a leak. You can check for leaks by choosing a windy day and running your hand around the doors, windows, outlets, and light fixtures to feel for a draft. You can also light a bundle of sage or a stick of incense and hold it close to potential sources of a leak. By following the smoke you can determine if a draft is present.

Clean gutters – it’s one of the jobs no one likes to tackle, but it is probably the most important of the home selling tips for a seller who is selling a home during fall or winter. All of those beautiful fall leaves eventually tumble down from the trees, often landing in your gutters. Failing to clean them out can cause snow and ice to back up over the winter. That, in turn can cause water to seep into your home or snow to pile up on your roof which can be extremely dangerous. Also check to be sure that your downspouts are properly aligned and directing water away from your home’s foundation to prevent water from flooding your basement.

Examine heating system – if you are a homeowner, it is always wise to check your heating system in the fall before you are actually dependent on it to stay warm. The same is true if you are selling your home. A potential buyer will likely not stay long if the home is so cold it is uncomfortable. Moreover, a potential buyer may be concerned about the cost of replacing the HVAC system if it appears not to be working properly.

Insulate – this should be at the top of any home selling tips list as it tends to increase the value of your home to potential buyers. Unless your home is very new, chances are it could use some additional insulation. Although this will cost you some money, you will almost certainly get it back when you sell the home. If you aren’t planning to sell in the near future, adding insulation will reduce your heating and cooling bills – sometimes dramatically.

Whether selling your home is in the near future or not, fall is the time to winterize. By simply completing these four winterization projects you will lower your heating costs and prevent damage to your home in the short term and increase the value of your home in the long term.