Flagstaff real estate has quite the reputation for being seasonal. No doubt, it is much busier in the summer months than in the snow covered, wind howling, dark days of winter. Although it gets much slower in colder months, it does not die off completely.
Mild winters allow for new construction homes to keep being built; it’s also much easier to navigate streets and neighborhoods and driveways are more clear. We are not always in line for a mild winter though and many winter months see snowstorms that accumulate the white stuff by the feet. So, when we have a long and drawn out winter, what should you do to still get a home sold?
If you have a vacant home or summer vacation property on the market this winter, you should absolutely look into winterizing that home. If at all possible, the heating system should be left on and running at a minimal temperature. All utilities have to be on for inspections should an offer and subsequent contract arise out of having the home listed for sale. Leaving the heating system on and at a minimal setting will prevent possible high-cost repairs should everything freeze. Also, a cold home doesn’t show well. Potential buyers rush through the home in order to get back to their heated cars.
Plumbing could be a huge expense should a house get too cold and freeze. Water pipes that freeze and then thaw can lead to flooding and huge expense and damage to a home. Turning the water supply off to the home completely could be a sensible way to avoid any possible damage to the plumbing. The hot water heater would need to be drained if you chose this route, as well as all drain supply lines to the home. Keep in mind, you’ll be responsible for turning the water back on for any inspections should the home go into contract during this time. Any appliances that use water should have their lines cleared, to be certain there is no water remaining in the lines that could freeze. All toilets should be flushed until there is no more water flowing though them. Everything should be labeled that it is winterized and should not be used.
Hiring a professional company to come in and winterize your home is an expense that would be minimal to protect your investment.
What about living in the home and trying to sell it during the winter months? There are many things that can be done to make your home appealing during the cold season. Keeping the driveway and all sidewalks clear will allow for easy access to potential agents and clients looking at your home. Keeping the garage clean of all the little stones and dirt that tend to pile up from cars or kids tracking in, try to keep all the windows wiped off, as well as hosing off the outside of the home when the afternoons warm up. Make sure all walkways and stairwells are free of ice. Trimming outdoor trees is a way to clean up the appearance, as well as make it safer so that limbs don’t come down during storms or high winds.
Cold weather doesn’t mean that the real estate market shuts down completely, it simply means we all get a bit more creative in how we market and sell! FBN
By Sherri Monteith
Sherri Monteith is the managing broker for Russ Lyon/ Sotheby’s International Realty located at 1750 S. Woodlands Village Blvd., in Flagstaff. To reach her, call