This month’s weather is a perfect example of life’s unpredictability. Sure, it’s fair for a transition month between winter and spring to present with a harsh, hungry beginning when we can expect the softer, fluffier finish promised by the old rule. We count on muddling through the blustering stubborn cold to get to the good stuff: floating towards April on a golden flowery fleece of sunny, warming spring days. Absolutely right that the accepted rule for March is In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb…
But do you know what the rule isn’t? The rule is not “lion and lamb engage in a schizophrenic battle for world-domination,” as seen in the backwards, so-called spring of 2017. The crocuses, believing the lamb was winning, jumped foolishly and eagerly out into the light earlier this month, only to shriek in fear and agony, shriveling under the year’s greatest snowfall.
All of this to say that life, like the weather, is unpredictable and frequently impossible to control. And that real estate, like life, is frequently and maddeningly affected by the weather. When your financial well-being is at stake in the form of needing to sell a house, a little thing like a week-long rain or a freezing snowstorm during peak market time can be difficult to accept. And there are other practical matters: your open house gets rained (or snowed) out, house-hunters tromp mud over your freshly-cleaned living room carpet, the long, messy winter means your landscaping looks less than ideal….
So…how do we cope? How do we advise clients, when the weather does affect the market, not to mention their properties? So much house-hunting happens online, where potential buyers are applying their shiny Pottery-Barn imaginings to pictures of your house…what if the weather wrecks your photo shoot and schedule for selling, or just makes showings a struggle?
Real estate aficionados understand that spring is the busiest season for buying and selling properties, and anybody in the business knows that the spring market actually begins in February. So truthfully, wonky weather is already part of the equation for capable agents. In essence, (not to brag,) but we’re excellent copers.
You’re already familiar with the idea of seasonal decorating, especially when trying to make a house appealing for guests. If your house is going on the market, it needs to be guest-ready for photographs, and stay at its best as it’s listed and potential buyers start coming through for judgement. So, our advice? Easy: make the best of it, by playing up the weather instead if the season is stuck in lion-mode.
Here are examples, some small, simple ways to battle weather and take control over the wild that deliver more impact than you might believe:
- If days are gray and rainy, leave a few lamps on for light.
- Place a fun umbrella stand on your front porch or in the foyer, not to mention generous, thirsty mats to wipe feet. If you’re the cutesy “Please Wipe Your Paws” sign type, this works too.
- Add color with throw pillows and set your kitchen table with patterned crockery. Shine reflects light, giving the illusion of more space, not to mention warmth.
- When it’s cold, bite the bullet and keep your heat set to cozy for showings, even if you’re at work, so buyers are given a warm welcome upon entry. And don’t forget the cinnamon.
- That’s right, cinnamon. Boiling a cinnamon stick in a small pot of water while you’re drinking your morning coffee infuses your house with the scent, making incoming viewers relax and feel at home, not to mention influencing their propensity to buy.
So…life, whether in lamb or lion form, is always going to be unpredictable. The key thing to remember is this: no matter the weather, the more functional, appealing, and attractive your home appears, the more you’re winning the real estate battle.
One final inspiring thought: no matter how long it takes, the lamb does always win eventually.