Jack Frost May Be Nipping at Your Nose — Did You Know He Can Help You Close?
While the real estate market remains red-hot on the whole, markets across the nation are seeing a gradual return to the typical seasonality of homebuying. So, the fact that winter is coming may have some agents feeling a bit anxious. To give you an edge, we’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks to help you create a warm, welcoming environment and, if you’re lucky, tie each listing up with a bow!
Tips for Staging Homes During the Holidays
While the spring homebuying season ensures curb appeal is in full bloom and back-to-school has parents scrambling to put down roots in their school district of choice, staging properties in the fall and winter months can pose a challenge. However, by fine-tuning your listing’s exterior, sprucing up the inside, and creating an all-encompassing experience, you can increase your selling power and perhaps even your winter numbers.
1. Tidy Up the Exterior
The exterior of a home is the very first thing buyers are sure to see, and curb appeal can make a serious impression. For example, properties with impressive exteriors drove up average sales prices by a sizable 7% just last year.
When dialing up the curb appeal, specifically in the cooler months, safety comes first! Depending on your market, fallen leaves, ice, snow, slush, and other seasonal debris can detract from even the most pristine appearances and put potential buyers at risk. Encourage your clients to expand their landscaping practices whenever showings are scheduled, and always ensure entryways are clear, well-lit, and safe. Rain gutters, siding, exterior windows, and patios or decks should all be cleaned before guests arrive. A new welcome mat doesn’t hurt, either!
Then, visual interest is the name of the game, whether sellers opt for a colorful front door, layered greenery, or cheery lighting. Festive wreaths, garlands, and, for those Thanksgiving sales, some gourds or pumpkins could also get potential buyers in the holiday spirit.
Take this charming 6 bed, 6 bath in Denver, for example:
The teal French doors add an element of interest while the wreath at the front door ushers guests inside. Provided the landscaping remains immaculate once the snow blows in, this agent could very well close by Christmas!
2. Primp the Interior
Once your listing’s curb appeal has been maximized, you’ll want to take your talents inside. Regardless of your local market, the holiday season is characterized by warmth and welcome. Lean into this mood by promoting comfort and ease throughout the home.
Before any potential buyers pile in, clients should ensure their HVAC system has a clean bill of health, whether they opt to DIY or hire a pro. After all, effective heating and cooling will be essential in the winter months, whether you’re already shoveling snow or embracing tropical temperatures. Any drafts should also be identified and remedied as soon as possible.
Next, you’ll want to create a cozy environment. Begin by asking clients to clear all clutter (yes, that includes drawers and closets) and purchase crisp, new linens. Larger projects may require you to rearrange the furniture of various rooms to best illustrate size and spaciousness, but all listings should receive a deep cleaning and go through a depersonalization process. Family photos, sports paraphernalia, and political swag can all subtly influence buyers’ decisions, so ensure that the client will tuck these away before showtime.
Finally, now that most of us have officially “fallen back” (notably not following the daylight savings trend are Hawaii and Arizona, you rebels!), ambient lighting will be your best friend. Pull back the curtains and open the blinds before the open house begins, and add lamps, candles, and other light sources to any dark corners as needed. In the midst of shorter, colder days, this practice can brighten the experience for everyone involved.
Take inspiration from this 4 bed, 4 bath in Hickory Corners, Michigan:
The expansive windows and skylights make the most of the natural light, while a variety of ceiling lights, table, and floor lamps add ambiance. For in-person showings, a crackling fire in the fireplace wouldn’t hurt, either.
3. Delight the Senses
Speaking of crackling fires, the key to executing the perfect seasonal open house truly lies in igniting the five senses. After all, just about anyone can paint their front door a fun color or power wash some siding. To go the extra mile, turn your open house into an experience.
While the listing should look clean and attractive regardless of the time of year, some seasonal visuals can instantly take it to the next level. For example, a table set for a family meal or garland wound up the banister could help potential buyers picture themselves in the home for holiday seasons to come. They’re sure to go home with visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads.
Calming, non-denominational holiday music can also promote cheer over the speakers but, if your clients are particularly festive or if you happen to have an in with local musicians, you can’t out-class live music. Maybe a pianist or local children’s choir? Hello, closing date!
Smell is also believed to heavily influence our moods and perceptions. Luckily, few seasons have such delightful scents associated with their comings and goings. Whether you bake some fresh gingerbread before opening the doors or simply light a pinecone candle, transporting potential buyers to holidays past can be quick, easy, and lucrative.
Colder weather offers the perfect opportunity for warm, cozy textiles as well. Delight guests with faux fur throws, plush rugs, and ultra-inviting bed linens. They might just feel the need to make an offer before the end of the night.
Finally, don’t forget to offer up some tasty treats to enhance the experience. Be mindful of health and safety concerns, but individually wrapped cookies or other sweets could wrap up the perfect open house nicely.
This 3 bed, 3 bath in Morristown, Vermont, has the right idea!
The woven rugs, plaid table runner, and backyard string lights all help paint the property as a warm and cozy place to put down roots. All that’s missing are the cookies!
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