Selling During The Holidays
Staging Strategies To Boost Winter Home Sales
Joe Houghton is Founder of The Minnesota Property Group, providing outstanding real estate services to the Twin Cities metro area.
There are both advantages and disadvantages that are inherent in listing a home for sale in the winter. However, one factor remains constant: Presenting a home in its best light will result in a quicker sale and a higher selling price. Reduced inventory on the market in the winter months provides a golden opportunity to make your home stand out. Here are several suggestions aimed at showing any property at its winter best.
Winter Curb Appeal
Positive first impressions are critical when selling a home. Keep the walkways shoveled and free of ice. Fill window boxes with pine branches and boughs of holly. If you are lucky enough to have a front porch, hang a simple garland of pine or spruce. No porch? No worries. Place a live potted evergreen near the entryway. Also, nothing says welcome like a wreath on the front door.
While we are on the subject of doors, painting yours a lively, cheerful color will up your curb appeal game significantly. Clean the glass on outdoor light fixtures, and replace any burned-out lightbulbs. An attractive new doormat where guests can wipe their wet shoes or boots before they enter your home is a must.
Turn Up The Heat
If it’s too chilly in your home, buyers may be in a hurry to leave. When it’s cold outside and warm inside, potential buyers will want to linger. When they do go, they will take with them a favorable impression of your home as a comfortable, inviting and nurturing place.
Make The Fireplace A Focal Point
A gas, electric or traditional wood-burning fireplace is a definite selling point during the winter months. Make it the eye-catching feature of the room, and be sure to turn it on during showings to add ambiance and warmth. Let your buyer’s imagination conjure up a Norman Rockwell moment as they picture the family playing board games and sipping cocoa in front of the fire.
Set The Stage With Hygge
A lifestyle practiced by the Danes since (at least) the 18th century, hygge (pronounced “hoo-gah”) is the perfect concept to introduce into your winter home staging. The most beautiful aspect of this style is that it is easy to accomplish, and many of you probably already have adopted the style instinctively.
Decorating with hygge in mind is about texture, softness and warmth. It’s a knitted throw draped over a comfortable chair, velvet pillows on the sofa, fluffy rugs underfoot and calming colors of white, gray and cream. It’s soft lighting, candles, warm woods and cozy nooks, perfect for curling up with a good book and a cup of aromatic tea.
Up Your Lighting Game
As the daylight hours get short, chances are you will have showings after nightfall. Make sure your home is well lit and cheerful, not dark and gloomy. It’s a good idea to increase the wattage on your lightbulbs and convert to LED where possible.
Having both indoor and outdoor lights on a timer is an excellent option to consider. Keeping the drapes open will allow more natural light in during the day. When evening falls, a home with light spilling out of the windows will beckon buyers to come in out of the frosty night.
Decorating for the holidays can be an asset. However, keep it simple and in proportion to the living space. Do not have a tree too large for the room or too many decorations throughout the house. It will look more like clutter and will not enhance your home’s appeal. Also, remember to keep the decorations generic and not personal. The goal is to have potential buyers envisioning celebrating with their own family and friends in what is currently your home. Be committed to packing away the holiday-themed items immediately after the celebration is over.
A Home for All Seasons
If your home has outstanding landscaping and gardens, don’t let winter stop you from touting it. Provide photos of your home, yard and outdoor living spaces taken in the summer months. Buyers will appreciate knowing that when spring arrives, they can look forward to an explosion of greenery, blossoming shrubs and flower beds.