This year, weather patterns have been pretty unpredictable. In fact, for much of West Virginia, April showers have been decidedly fluffy snow instead. But no matter what the weather, as a potential homebuyer, home-seller, or homeowner, you need to be prepared for every eventuality. So rain, sleet, snow … don’t let those stand in the way of you being able to buy or sell a home.
Here are some tips for home shopping or home prepping during inclement weather.
Home Seller Tips
If your home is on the market and the weather is bad, you can still help buyers “see” your home with a virtual tour. Of course, as your agents, we are happy to help you get the best images and video of your home possible.
But you can help.
- Make sure that your personal belongings are put away and that identifiable objects — think family photos, awards, and trophies, etc. — are out of sight. Remove most of your knickknacks and collectibles too. That way, the buyer can envision themselves in your home.
- Put away extra furniture too. That way, in the video angles, the viewer sees the home, not your furniture.
- Add some green. Even though it’s rainy (or snowy) outside, on the inside, a plant or vase of flowers or even a bowl of fruit makes a cheery scene.
If potential buyers will be entering your home. Plan for the weather by keeping a doormat or rug handy. You can request that the buyers remove their wet shoes or cover them with disposable shoe covers. Place an umbrella stand in a handy location, too. That way, the drips stay at the door and not throughout your home. Make sure your walkways are clear of mud or debris (or snow/ice) so that potential buyers aren’t dodging them on their way in.
Home Buyer Tips
Between COVID-19 and inclement weather, you might not be able to see inside the home you want to buy. Be prepared to view a home via video and online images. If you are serious about making an offer on a home, don’t be shy about asking for more detailed images and descriptions. If you are allowed to visit the home in person, take care to not bring the weather in with you. And, be careful about touching items inside the home. Of course, you want to open closets, cabinets, and built-in drawers, but do so with care, using gloves if requested (and for your own safety). Talk to your agent ahead of time to see if gloves and shoe covers will be provided or if you should bring your own.
If you are new to homeownership, be very aware of your home during rainy weather.
Check windows and doors for moisture. Monitor the ceiling in every room for telltale spots on the ceiling that indicate a leak.
Watch your gutters and downspouts to make sure they are not clogged. You can tell that a gutter or downspout has a blockage if water spills over the top instead of going down the spout. As soon as the weather clears, clean your gutters and spouts, or hire a service to do so. A blocked drainage system can push water up under the eaves and cause leaks. If temperatures drop low enough to freeze, the frozen water can expand and cause damage to soffits as well.
Check your yard for low places where water collects in pools. You may need to work on the landscaping to address those areas. And, if they force water back toward the house, you could be looking at leaks in the foundation. Before you create raised flowerbeds or add other landscaping around the house, make sure to observe the flow of water and how it drains away (or toward) the home.
Finally, use your first experience of rainy weather in your home to learn the nuances of your HVAC system. Keeping the inside of your home dry and warm may mean staying on top of the combination of heat and cool air. Consider investing in a smart thermostat to help you maintain your home’s environment. Compare various smart thermostats here.
Come in Out of the Rain
If you’re looking to buy or sell during the April showers (or May flowers), we can help. In fact, here are some reviews from people just like you that we’ve helped buy or sell a home. Take a look at these homes with virtual tours available on the market and give us a call.