As you already know a properly staged home can help make the sale. This is particularly true in winter when sales of homes tend to slow down.
Even in balmy areas like San Diego and Miami, winter can bring cooler temperatures. In terms of staging you never want to take a client into a cold home. Feeling that they stepped into a warm house, not hot but warm, is probably the single most important thing you can do when staging a home in winter. Often that means either you or the client will have to double check the thermostat at least a couple of hours before the showing appointment. If the home has a fireplace that should be carefully burning one houses shown, even if it’s only a fake fire. Lit unscented candles can add some charm too.
Ideally the walks will be swept or plowed and de-iced before you get there. When everything’s covered with snow it’s okay to point at lumps and explain their part of a an annual border or other garden feature. It may not be possible to do a whole bunch of staging with the backyard if the snow is running deep, but any deck or back stoop should at least be swept off. From there you can point out the basics of the back yard. Photos of the outside when it’s looking good can also help – not just on your phone, but actual printed photos that can be passed around. It can pay to have them enlarged.
On chilly winter days having the lights on both inside and out helps make the home appear warm and cozy. If the client is living in the home help them understand which lights are going to show the home off and which are not. As a general rule incandescents and halogen and the new LEDs make for a better looking light than most fluorescents. Opening curtains can let in more light and more light almost always helps especially natural daylight. Don’t forget to light up the back yard too.
Does home have double paned windows? By all means point goes out more than once. The same thing is true if the heating and system is new or close to it. If the hot water heater is new or nearly so, or the home is equipped with a tankless hot water heater those can be featured as comfortable in winter too.If the home is well insulated that probably means energy savings. If possible in addition to talking about the savings, knowing how much the seller is actually spending on utilities may demonstrate the savings.
Remind your seller that truly clean home so better than those that are not so clean. Buyers tend to pay particular attention to bathrooms and kitchens and are apt to open shower curtains cupboards and drawers. Depending on how clean home actually is it may make sense to have homeowner higher a home cleaning crew. Window should also be washed inside and out.Make sure all beds are made and every room picked up. Towels should match or common truly complement each other and the smell of baking cookies or bread isn’t cheating. Holiday decorations can help or hinder and probably should be taken down shortly after the holidays they celebrate.If the seller has pets, have the make sure there are no pet associated odors.
Winter staging really is a matter of common sense – it’s worth paying attention to it.
What questions do you have about winter staging? Ask in comments and I’ll work to get an answer for you.
Before Anne Wayman became a writer she sold real estate in Southern California. She worked with her father who learned the business from his father. Not surprisingly she learned a few things along the way. Since then, she has been freelance writing for over 30 years – she is a grandmother, loves cats and writes about a wide variety of topics including real estate.