Life events don’t consult the calendar for your approval. If it’s time to sell your home and start a new chapter but the winter winds are howling, it’s still possible to put your best foot forward in the real estate market. We reached out to a few home design and care professionals for some winter home staging tips that will make potential buyers feel cozy and at home during a viewing, despite the cold weather.
Start the Staging Process Outside
You know curb appeal is essential, so when it comes to gray winter days, you need to ramp up your efforts. Brad Woods with American Turf and Tree Care in Colorado suggests adding some color to the landscape by channeling your summertime container gardening skills if you don’t have ornamentals that thrive in the winter.
“Rusty wheelbarrows, planters or empty window boxes can still be filled — and not necessarily with live plants,” Woods explains. “Evergreen boughs or brightly colored berries can make a big impact on potential buyers without breaking the bank.” These container arrangements instantly spruce up an empty porch, snow-covered patio or dull walkway.
He also reminded homeowners without a blanket of snow on their lawn to remove leftover grass clippings and brown leaves. This debris can mat down grass, leaving it looking dull during the dormant season. Plus, yard waste can be a slipping hazard for guests. And of course, always clear walkways between buildings like garages, sheds or barns, so visitors can easily maneuver across all parts of the property.
Rhianna Miller, a home and garden improvement expert from Rubber Mulch, loves adding the warm glow of exterior lighting to a winter home staging checklist.
“The outside of your home may look dreary and dark during January, but updated wall-mount lighting and hanging lanterns will give your home a warm glow during the coldest months,” Miller explains.
As we move closer to the home itself, make sure not to overlook the entryway. A cool-weather wreath made of evergreens, a fresh coat of paint on the front door and porch seating dressed up with thick pillows and flannel throw blankets looks seasonal and inviting.
“Accessories such as a pair of ice skates, an old-fashioned winter sled and a basket of logs will complete the cozy look,” Miller adds. “These gestures are easily the most important to your overall curb appeal and can make all the difference.”
Create Warm Indoor Ambiance
“People need to feel the warmth of the house as soon as they step inside,” says Iris Wingfield, an interior design consultant at Flat Pack Mates. This means turning up the thermostat a bit so the entryway is comfortable, using the fireplace to add warmth and even offering mugs of hot tea or cocoa to visitors.
During the winter, entryways can quickly become cluttered with thick winter coats, piles of snow boots and children’s outdoor toys. These should be tucked away in closets to keep the first few steps into the home easily accessible.
Then, create a festive ambiance inside. Wingfield suggested opening window coverings to enjoy natural light and pleasant wintry views, lighting candles, hanging indoor wreaths and adding plush throws to chairs and sofas to create an inviting style on a cold day.
Home staging expert Cathy Hobbs of Design Recipes suggests putting higher wattage bulbs in your light fixtures to brighten the home even more during the darker winter months. A few extra desk and floor lamps can add a warm glow to cold corners of the home and brighten evening showings.
Finally, as you prepare for your first open house of the winter season, consider displaying a photo album that showcases flourishing gardens and green landscaping during the summer months or how the patio looks when seasonal furniture is in place. Focus chit-chat on recent home upgrades that promote warmth, including new windows, upgraded exterior doors, thick insulation, heated tile floors, an attached garage or a fireplace.
Looking for help selling your home? Contact Owners today.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Owners.com, Altisource or any other Altisource® business or entity. The foregoing content is not intended to constitute, and in fact does not constitute, financial, investment, tax or legal advice by the author, Owners.com, Altisource or any other business or entity.
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