Although the days are “shorter”, for many people winter tends to feel like the slowest season. This is especially true for real estate agents, as the market is at its most quiet over the holiday season.
While there are some agents who will advise against listing your home in the winter, there are benefits to listing your home during this time of the year. For example, it’s true that you may not have many showings to prepare for; however, the showings you do have tend to be with very qualified and very motivated buyers.
Because showing traffic is much slower if you decide to list your home in the Winter, it is especially important to ensure that you have your home presentation buttoned up. To help you out, we curated the top six tips from our agent staging experts on how to stage your home during the winter.
Start at the curb.
The first thing a potential buyer notices when they arrive to your home is the exterior. Ensure your yard is as manicured as possible by shoveling and de-icing your walkways. This includes all patios, balconies, or decks that your house may have.
This is especially important in areas such as Colorado that receive a steady downfall of snow until the spring. A clean walkway is often a welcome reprieve from the snow-laden sidewalks that typically do not receive treatment. Additionally, shoveling patios or decks allow for buyers to envision what the area may look like during the summer months while they are enjoying time outside.
Welcome them to the home.
Similar to our Fall staging post, we always recommend that you use seasonal plants to spruce up your front entryway. During the Winter, winterberry, spruce, or evergreen plans add a festive (and low-maintenance) touch. A decorative wreath on the front door is another a seasonal favorite that will bring a “welcome home!” feeling to buyers.
One item that is a must is a nice welcome mat! This allows for people to wipe their feet before entering your home so they do not track in the mud, snow, and salt from outside.
Welcome them inside the home.
Provide guests with extra hangers for coats, as well as a specific space to place boots and shoes as they arrive. If you have space, a bench that allows people to sit and take off their shoes is a great idea that goes a little above and beyond for your guests. A large mat or extra shoe rack is also helpful to keep shoes organized.
Keep the temperature warmer inside the house while clients are there. If you have a fireplace, turn it on! People love the cozy warmth and glow that a fireplace provides. If you have a non-working fireplace, get creative and place candles, greenery, or vases inside of it as a decorative piece.
Keep the lights on.
The shortest (and gloomiest) days of the year are during the winter. We recommend keeping all lights on inside the house, even during the day. This allows for as much light as possible to help illuminate all of the features that makes your home so special.
KISS – Keep It Simply Styled.
When it comes to decorating your home for a showing or open house, less is best. Most people love the holidays, but it is important to remember that there are some people who do not. It is always best to play it safe and keep holiday decorations to a tasteful minimal style – think more Joanna Gaines rather than Clark Griswold.
As always, personal items such as pictures and religious articles should be hidden or VERY selectively chosen. Potential buyers want to be able to picture themselves calling your house a home. So, while it may be difficult, sweep through your home and remove the decorative items that make the house intimately yours.
Ensure listing photos are updated.
Today’s buyers do the bulk of their home searches online, and that stands especially true when the weather outside is not so cheery and bright. Listing photos are the very first impression a potential buyer will have of your home, so these need to be updated regularly.
Ann Hershfeldt of Your Castle recommends that sellers, “Make sure photos don’t have seasonal items in them [such as] pumpkins.” Hershfeldt goes on to explain that, “…if the property takes a bit to sell, it is easy to know via pictures if it is now Christmas and pumpkins are still in the photos!”
If you know you plan on selling your home during the winter, Courtney Morehouse of Your Castle recommends taking listing photos before the snow comes, the grass turns brown, and the trees become bare.
Remember to find the right agent.
There are seemingly infinite details that go into selling your home. Make sure you pick the right real estate agent to help you through the process! Our experts are always available to answer any questions you may have about the real estate market, and how to best navigate it.
Have you ever viewed or listed a home during the holidays? What was your experience with staging a home during the winter? Tell us your experiences in the comments below!