You don’t have to be a real estate guru to know winter is not an ideal time to sell a home. According to Zillow, just under a quarter fewer homes are sold during the winter compared to the rest of the year. Even so, some homeowners simply can’t afford to wait for spring to sell their properties. Winter might be considered the slow season for real estate, but these winter-specific staging tips and tricks will make every home you list seem more appealing to buyers and ready to shine at the open house.
Start a fire. A cozy, flickering fire can turn an ordinary home into an enchanting winter haven. If the house has a gas fireplace or contemporary clean-burning wood stove, go ahead and set it aflame to welcome visitors. However, if it has an older wood-burning fireplace that makes the air smell smoky, hold off. Prospective buyers with allergies may be turned off. Your listing doesn’t have a fireplace? Consider setting the mood by welcoming guests with a warm cup of apple cider.
Brighten things up. Since the winter season can be dreary, dark and depressing, you can’t expect to win buyers over with natural light. Make sure you compensate for this by turning on lots of lights during showings, regardless of the time of day. Replace ordinary light bulbs with brighter ones and add some extra lighting to the darker areas of the home. Consider using floor lamps, table lamps and reading lamps if necessary to layer lighting. Just make sure to repair or conceal any flaws around the home, since extra lighting can highlight these areas.
Add colorful accents. It’s important to offset the gray dreary winter season by accessorizing each room with warm colors. Whether it’s throw pillows, rugs, curtains, artwork or other accessories, you can seriously enliven a room’s aesthetic by adding the right pop of color. When it’s cold outside, focus on orange, red and yellow, since these colors are associated with heat, fire and warmth. Just be sure not to overdo it; simply add one to three strategic color accents to attract the eye and infuse a neutral-toned room with some alluring warmth.
Showcase the possibilities. Winter is the peak season for festive gatherings and holiday parties – highlight the entertaining possibilities by creating enticing displays. Set out fresh flowers and stacks of plates on a dining room buffet during the open house. You can also display colorful holiday cookies on cake stands in the kitchen.
Decorate for the holidays. Because buyers want to envision themselves living in a home, it’s best to make that vision as magical as possible. If your clients celebrate Christmas, encourage them to add green wreaths, twinkling lights and a decorated Christmas tree in front of the window. Even if the buyer does not celebrate Christmas, he or she will be struck by the beautiful way the lighting and décor enhance the property. Just be careful not to go overboard, since an overabundance of holiday decor can make a home look cluttered.
Experiencing a lull in business over the winter? Get tips on how to stay productive during the slow season so you’ll be ready to take advantage of new opportunities come spring.