Even though the cold weather months aren’t the most ideal time of year to sell, sometimes circumstances demand it. If you’re one of the unlucky few trying to sell your house during this time of year, take special measures to make your listing stand out.
Buyers have different needs on their minds at different times of the year. For instance, they are more likely to think about how a home’s outdoor space fits their preferences in the summer than in the winter. Conversely, the pool might not be the feature foremost on the minds in the middle of January.
When staging a home, why not leverage the current season to take advantage of what buyers are looking for? During the winter months, home buyers are seeking warm and cozy spaces.
Here are 6 creative ways to take advantage of the colder months and stage a home that we think you can warm up to for winter!
Remember the Curb Appeal
Buyers are more likely to be forgiving of lackluster landscaping during the winter months, but that doesn’t mean the home seller should completely neglect the exterior. What the buyer sees still impacts their first impressions of the home. Do what you can to make it positive. Roof shingles, vinyl or wood siding, and discolored brick can turn off potential buyers. Look to pressure wash them to remove dirt and grime. Downspouts and gutters should be free from signs of wear.
Encourage sellers to prepare the exterior of their home for winter. Prune overgrown and broken branches. Have the home sellers pick up any fallen branches or leaves resulting from winter storms. Keep the paths to the front door and the sidewalks clear of snow and ice. It’s not just for appearances, it’s also a safety issue.
Sellers can enhance the home’s curb appeal by adding some winter decor like a simple understated and elegant wreath hung on the front door. Flowers may not be blooming, but an arrangement of evergreen plants and a winter-themed doormat do add to the home’s ambiance.
Remember the light on those darker winter days. Keep exterior lights on for evening showings and open houses. Consider adding a lantern near the front door or small solar lights along the walkway.
Accommodate the Season
Remember, winter can be cold, wet, muddy, or some variation of all three. Pay extra attention to all entryways into the homes.
Start off with placemats to clean off visitor shoes or to store them while they look around. No one wants strangers tracking mud through their homes.
Is there ample storage in the entryway? People carry around more “things” in the winter– boots, hats, gloves, and jackets. We want to encourage buyers to take off their jackets so they linger a little longer in the house and start to imagine it as their home. Spend some time staging around here to ensure there is ample storage and organization.
When the sellers are rushed to exit before a showing, ask them to pay extra attention to keeping their entryway clean and tidy.
Comfort is the NEW Cozy
Make the buyers feel comfortable in the home by turning up the heat a few extra degrees during their visit. If the home has a fireplace, play it up as a focal point. Light the fire or add some candles near or around the fireplace. Throw out a stool or a chair where someone can sit and linger near the flickering flames.
If the property does not have a fireplace, strategic placements of unscented candles help create an impression of warmth.
To assist with creating that warm and comfortable feeling, people need light. An essential tip for winter home staging is to leverage all of the natural light that you can. Clean the windows. Swap out any heavy curtains for sheer curtains or leave them open during the home showing.
Fix or repair any broken lights. Turn on all the lights for the showings. If the room is especially dark, consider swapping to a brighter light bulb or strategically placing additional lamps to brighten the space.
Home staging is about creating a mood. When you hear the term hygge we mean that you want to promote your home to be not only inviting but cozy and comfortable. Small touches go a long way to creating this feeling in a home during these cooler months of January and February especially.
Add décor with warm-toned colors. Place some extra throw pillows on the couches or thick throw blankets over the arm of a chair. Again, unscented or artificial candles add to the feelings of warmth.
Avoid any heavy scents as closed-up winter homes can become suffocating if overpowered with thick, artificial fragrances.
If the sellers are listing during the holiday season, take advantage of the festive decor to win over the buyers. A few appropriately placed decorations make a house feel like a home.
People spend more time inside their homes during the winter. During this season, we want to make the home look as spacious as possible. That can be a challenge when we’re carrying around extra puffy jackets and thick boots.
Be strategic about the placement of furniture and decor to open up spaces. You may need to scale back on pieces, remove an end table, or pack away the summer clothes from the closets. Remember to keep counter and tabletops clear of unnecessary items.
Staging in the Winter
Winter is all about warmth. Help your buyers fall in love with the home by creating a comfortable space they want to live in. The right staging creates a cozy ambiance that helps buyers fall in love with your home.
Check out our Winter Home Staging Tips – right-click, copy and paste to your desktop to print out as a handy checklist