Winter Staging: Tips & Tricks

Excerpts from: How to Sell Your House in Winter

Published at By Piper Nichole Jan 05, 2010 11:15 am


Below are top tips on warming up your home sale when it’s cold outside.

1. Turn Up the Warmth
Many homeowners keep the temperature a little colder during the day when they aren’t home. Keep your house a touch warmer, said Mabel Guzman, 2009-2010 president-elect for the Chicago Association of Realtors. “Buyers will wonder what is wrong with the furnace or think the home is too expensive to heat,” said Guzman. The same applies for vacant homes. You don’t want buyers rushing through your house just to get out of the cold.

2. Just Because Winter Is Dark, Your Home Shouldn’t Be
During the day, draw back the curtains, open the blinds and if it’s a gray overcast day, turn on the lights so your home isn’t dark. At night, Michalene Melges, a Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, Realtor with Keefe Real Estate, recommends showcasing your home with lights outside. For example, adding spot lights that highlight your entrance or a favorite maple tree.”Light it up! Winter, if done right … can be magical,” said Melges. “The sun sets around 4 o’clock but, the world doesn’t go to bed.”

3. Let People In
Ohio Realtor Cecilia Sherrard said the biggest mistake she sees is when sellers postpone home showings — sometimes not allowing buyers in for a couple of weeks (for example, due to weather or holidays). Sherrard said she has seen active buyers purchase similar homes to theirs within that time.

4. Hide the Shovel (and the Salt)
Make sure walkways are cleared of snow and ice. Porches, driveways, decks, and garages should have easy access. “Don’t leave your shovel or salt near the front door. These items tell the buyer that they’ll have to work if they own your home,” said Starr Osborne, founder of Philadelphia’s premier home staging company, Tailored Transitions, and author of Home Staging that Works (Amacom, 2010).