Sellers in today’s housing market face a number of challenges luring buyers, and if you’re trying to sell your home in the wintertime, you face yet another problem: Buyers more often look for homes in the spring and summer. You’ll need to put even more effort into tempting home buyers from such a small seasonal pool.
One thing that can help is to stage your home for the season. Here are some tips for wintertime staging of your home for sale:
It’s Cold Outside, So Warm up Your Home
Those who venture out into the bitter cold, snow and ice to view your home will react warmly to … well, warmth.
If you’ve already moved out of your home, don’t make the mistake of turning off the heat to save on utility costs. Buyers react to home viewings both emotionally and physiologically. A cold house in January is as unappealing as one that is sweltering in August.
The money you spend to keep the home heated at a reasonable temperature, say 65 degrees, will pay off immeasurably if you sell your home before a new crop of spring listings emerge to compete with you. It’ll also help ensure that your water pipes don’t freeze and burst, which would cause a mess no buyer wants to deal with.
If you have a fireplace, light it for each and every wintertime home viewing you or your real estate agent host. If you don’t have a fireplace, considering installing a vent-free gas or electric fireplace unit, which will increase not only the emotional appeal of your home, but also its energy efficiency.
Keep Your Home Safe for Wintertime Viewings
Put the extra effort into promptly removing snow and ice from your walkways, driveway and porch steps after every snowfall. For one thing, prospective buyers don’t want to risk injury just to get inside your front door.
Don’t forget, too, that prospective buyers may drive past your home before they decide if they want to view it or not. Keeping the snow cleared will boost your curb appeal and help usher potential home buyers into your home.
Snow safety doesn’t end at the front door, though. Make sure you provide a cushy, absorbent welcome mat at your entryway so that wet shoes and boots don’t cause slips and falls as home buyers make their viewing rounds on your tile and wood floors.
Redecorating? Use Color to Create Coziness
The Denver-based professional stagers who blog at Simply Good Staging advise home sellers to decorate or paint walls in dark, rich warm tones to create a cozy, toasty atmosphere.
They point to red, burgundy, brown, gold, beige and dark green as “ideal” choices for bed sheets, throw pillows, curtains, rugs and other staging accessories.
Speaking of Decorating … Less is More
‘Tis the season of Christmas, and you’ll no doubt want to decorate your home in yuletide cheer. Look to Home and Garden TV’s Frontdoor.com guides for advice on how to do it right and entice, rather than put off, potential buyers.
The HGTV partner site advises home sellers to keep holiday decorations neutral, non-religious and understated, and most of all, to start with a clean and decluttered home — which is a basic rule of staging your home for sale in any season.
It’s perfectly fine to sprinkle your home with a few well-placed seasonal embellishments. After all, prospective buyers will want to envision hosting their own holiday celebrations in the home. But stay away from over-doing it, which might include life-sized nativity scenes, blow-up snowmen in the front yard and excessive light displays.
Among Front Door’s recommendations? Choose a simple color scheme for trimming your tree, such as icicle lights and silver tinsel, or gold and blue bulbs. And make sure your tree is proportionally sized to the room in which you’ve displayed it. If you have a small family room, for example, opt for a skinny tree so the room is not overwhelmed.
Seek the Help of a Pro Home Stager
If you’re still uncertain whether you’re on the right track in staging your home for wintertime selling, don’t be afraid to seek the services of a professional stager. Your real estate agent can probably recommend a pro, and if his or her services help you sell your home more quickly, he or she will be worth their weight in mortgage dollars.
Author Experience in Property Management
Nina James, “Trendy Interior Designs for the Winter Season,” Simply Good Staging
Kara Wahlgren, “Staging Tips for the Holidays,” HGTV’s Front Door