Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Is That a Lawn or a Cross Country Ski Trail?

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening?
In the lane, snow is glistening.

It happened again today.

A beautiful sight,
We're happy tonight.

My buyer and I pulled up to a home in the country. The setting was wonderful - mature trees dotted the spacious yard. Such a peaceful spot. The snow stretched out in front of us, unblemished by anything more than the tracks of a few animals.

Walking in a winter wonderland.

Wait a minute. That unblemished snow covered the driveway and front walk.

We had 40 inches of snow in December, more in January. There was a thaw in between there, but there was still close to three feet of snow stretching out for about hundred yards between us and the house. Thankfully, we had an ice storm in there too, so there was enough of a crust of ice on the snow to allow us to balance on top of most of it, wading through only about six inches of powder.

If buyer cannot get to a house, they cannot fall in love with the house. If they cannot fall in love, they will not buy. An inaccessible driveway also makes the home feel difficult to care for in the winter months, a negative before they even walk in the door.

Even if a home is vacant, hire out a local service to come clear the driveway and walks. In our area, that will cost about $30 per snow in the city, $50 in the country. It is an investment in selling your home.

Walking in a Winter Wonderland is a lovely song, and a great description for yard stretching out behind a home. Just don't let it describe the sidewalk and driveway please.

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