With fewer homes on the market, the off-season of winter can be a good time to sell your home. While there might be less competition, you’ll still want your home looking its best to attract as many prospective buyers as possible. The money spent on home staging has proven to be a smart investment, whether you stage it yourself or enlist the help of a professional.
In the cold winter months, it’s all about creating an atmosphere of warmth and comfort. To gain some insight into preparing your home to sell in the winter, we talked to Sonja Parker, founder and creative director of Design Box, a home staging company in Washington, D.C. Parker shared a few tips to help make buyers feel so welcome in your home, they’ll want to stay forever.
Create flow. The colors and theme should be consistent throughout the home. “An object or color in one room should call the buyer into the next room,” Parker said.
Appeal to the masses. Since color preferences vary among buyers, it’s best to start with neutral colors such as white, beige and gray as much as possible. Create a cohesive feel to the home by using complementary or the same colors of paint on the walls of connecting spaces.
Eliminate personal items. Pack all family pictures so buyers can imagine their family living there, rather than yours. Instead, use framed photographs of your flower garden or other landscapes.
Add warmth. Use darker colors, faux furs, leather and candles to accessorize. Drape a throw over the end of a sofa or arm chair, use a fluffy shag rug in a warm color or a plump comforter at the foot of the bed to complete a cozy feel to your rooms.
Let in light. Open shades and curtains to let in natural light. Turn on every light in the house, even for daytime showings. Attach a timer to lamps so they will turn on when buyers are present. Install motion detector lights that activate when buyers approach your front door.
Keep it simple. Place a vase of fresh flowers in bright colors or a simple white orchid on your dining or kitchen table. The kitchen should be uncluttered and clean to showcase the appliances, rather than accessories. Place an individual coffee maker in the kitchen, so visitors can help themselves to a cup of coffee or hot chocolate.
Turn on the heat. Adjust your thermostat to make the house a few degrees warmer than usual on a cold day to help buyers linger longer.
Most important to remember when staging a home, Parker said, is that you’re making these changes to “sell the house, not the furniture.”
If you’re planning to sell your home this winter, contact your real estate agent for additional suggestions on how to stage your home to sell.