Winter Preparations Checklist for Homes on the Market

Owners’ Continuing Responsibility for Snow/Ice Removal Hill Slowinski

With the arrival of Winter this coming week and the surprise snowfall we had last week, it is time to complete your winter preparations, if you have not done so already.  These are particularly important if you have a home listed for sale that is vacant or you are going to be away for part of the holidays.

A Quick Checklist:

If your listed property is vacant:

  • Have someone lined up to shovel snow promptly:
    • Clear snow and ice for access from the street – driveways, paths, and walks 
    • Snow-covered and icy walks may present potential liability issues
    • Snow and ice will discourage agents with potential buyers from showing
    • Some local jurisdictions require snow removal from sidewalks within 6-24 hours
  • Keep heat on to avoid freezing pipes
  • Lower thermostat to 60 degrees to save on expenses
  • Enlist neighbor support to contact you if anything is or appears amiss or unusual
  • Arrange yard service to remove winter debris – branches, leaves, etc.
  • Clear leaves from gutters now to avoid ice dams caused by heavy snows
  • Have someone (in addition to your agent) stop by regularly to check on the property
  • Turn off water supply to exterior faucets and stow hoses
  • Contact pool service company for winterizing outdoor pools
  • Turn off outdoor sprinkler and irrigation systems
  • Check with your insurance carrier on vacant property coverage

If your house is occupied, you likely have already done these and more: 

  • Continue maintenance of the heating system filters, vents, and ducts
  • Remove and store window air conditioner units
  • Prepare central air conditioning outdoor condensing units
  • Check operation of fireplace dampers and check chimneys for ‘critters’
  • Check and update weather stripping on doors and windows
  • Insulate exposed pipes

It is the owner’s responsibility to maintain safe conditions for visitors and guests.

F. Hill Slowinski, JD, REALTOR® in DC, MD, and VA
W.C. & A.N. Miller Realtors, A Long & Foster Company
Exclusive Affiliate of Christie’s Great Estates, President’s Club 2009
Consultant, Luxury Real Estate, Sloans & Kenyon Auctioneers and Appraisers
4701 Sangamore Road, Bethesda, Maryland  20816
Tel: 301-229-4000  Fax: 301-229-4015
Direct: 301-320-8430 · Cell: 301-452-1409  Sloans & Kenyon
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