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January, February and March are the slowest months for buying and selling homes. The season for selling houses starts to warm up with the spring and is extremely busy during the summer months. But, sometimes a job change or a change in life events requires selling your home in the winter months. Because of this situation, sellers may be more motivated to accept offers much quicker during the slower months. The seller will still need to emphasize the strengths of the home and downplay the weaknesses in order to attract the most potential buyers. In order to get more offers and sell the home quicker, realtors encourage “staging” a home for sale. Home staging is the process of decluttering, painting, re-decorating and in some cases upgrading the home to make it appeal to buyers. This can be done by the homeowner, realtor or staging companies. These companies, as well as realtors, recommend renting a self storage unit to place all of the extra items that can clutter up a home. The goal is to make the home welcoming during anytime of the year, but more so during the winter months. A clean, clutter-free home will be more attractive to potential buyers and could sell faster and for more money.
Home Staging Tips
Below are eight winter home staging tips to follow that will help your home look its best and attract the right buyer and the right price for your home:
- The first thing that needs to be done during home staging is de-cluttering your home. It is time to put away items that have been stacked in rooms for long periods of time. Make sure that you have the proper packing supplies on hand to properly store the excess items. This is also the time to store bulky furniture in order to create an open and inviting home.
- Make the home as visually appealing as possible. This involves cleaning, repairing problems, dusting, vacuuming and painting rooms. Keep up these maintenance projects, if it is taking longer for your home to sell.
- Realtors recommend removing personal photos and mementos in the home during home staging. However, it is a good idea to have photos (or at least a photo album) of the home during the spring and summer months, so potential buyers can see what the landscaping, flowers, patio and garden looks like during the rest of the year.
- The outside of the home is the first image that a potential buyer has of a home that is up for sale. If the home’s curb appeal is not up to par, that could “turn off” a buyer. It is critical to keep up with raking the leaves, cleaning out the gutters, sweeping down porches and repairing and replacing any exterior lighting problems.
- Keep the walkways clear of snow and ice. Shovel a clear path from the curbside (or driveway) to the front or back door of the home.
- Make good use of the lighting in your home. Open up the drapes and blinds to let the natural light in during daytime showings. If you have to show the home in the evening, make sure that all exterior and interior lights are functioning and are on. Replace light bulbs with a higher wattage and warmer hues to make the rooms more inviting.
- Keep the temperature of the home at a comfortable setting. Use battery-powered candles to add warmth and light to the room.
- It is recommended to make the colors of the room more neutral when you are staging your home. You can paint the walls a neutral color and have similar colors for your furniture, but add colorful seasonal accessories such as rugs, pillows and throws to give a pop to the rooms.
- An experienced realtor or staging company can be valuable resources for proper staging techniques.