Winter typically ushers in the slowest real estate market, as home buyers are scarce and available houses for sale sit idly until the coming spring. This means that it makes sense to hold off from putting your home on the market until things pick up.
However, don’t be discouraged if you’re trying to sell your home during the off season as buyers, while fewer in number, are definitely still in the market. What is most important is how you present your home during the winter.
Here are five staging tips for prepping your home for a winter sale.
1 – Clear a Pathway
Ensuring that you have a clean pathway is important regardless of whether or not you are selling your home in the winter — but snow can quickly become compressed and icy the more it is stepped on. When you have potential buyers coming to you home for a showing, the last thing that they should be worried about is how they are going to go over all of the snow to get to your property.
The main areas that you have to ensure are clean are your parking lot or driveway, the stairs to your main door, as well as the pathway to your door. Once that’s done then it is also good to throw some rock salt or sand on the cleared areas to help prevent any ice from forming.
2 – Check Your Heating
You should always check your heating unit to ensure that there aren’t any issues with it. Make any necessary repairs to the unit before putting your home up for sale.
Winter can get quite cold, which is why you want to make sure that your home is nice and cozy during the showing; it would leave a pretty bad impression for your guests if they need to keep their coats on all throughout the visit. To ensure that your home is warm enough for the visit, try turning up the heat to 24 degrees Celsius—two degrees above the comfort zone for winter—a couple of hours before your showing. By doing so, the temperature will level and hold when your guests arrive. As an added bonus, they won’t have to listen to the furnace turning on and off constantly.
3 – Use Tasteful Decorations
The cold season is also home to one of the biggest holidays of the year: Christmas. You can take this chance to include some festive decorations to really help sell your home as a good place to live with a family. Depending on the size of your home, you can have multiple decorations around the house or keep it simple with a Christmas tree. For homes that are especially small such as condos for sale in Mississauga, you can add a wreathe on the front door as it is both minimalistic and low maintenance.
Another thing to keep in mind when decorating your home are the colours. Similar to fall, use warmer colours such as red orange and yellow—which are commonly associated with heat and fire— for things such as pillows and throws.
4 – Do a Winter Cleaning
Before the full winter cold hits, you should take this chance to do go a general cleaning around your home. Clean everything including the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room and anything that could collect dust or grime. Since you can’t let any fresh air in during the winter, it is important to ensure that any allergens circulating around the home are removed to avoid any sort of reaction from your guests. Additionally, the lint trap in the laundry room poses and even bigger problem if you leave it uncleaned since the constant heating from the furnace and furnace could cause the lint to spontaneously combust. Overall, having a clean home will definitely help with the next point.
5 – Work with Timing and Lighting
With daylight savings, the days are shorter, and the nights are far longer. This means that you have to take into consideration when to hold a showing for your home. Ideally, you should have a showing around between 10 am to 3 pm since that is usually when the day is nice and bright. Take advantage of this and open up all of the curtains around your home to let all in of the natural light. You can further brighten up your home by turning on the lights in all of the rooms. Guest should have the feeling of what your home looks like during the brighter seasons and it also helps with feeling better during the dreary cold winter weather. To ensure that all of the natural light seeps in, clean the windows around your home.
An important thing to note is that while having a ton of light can be good, you have to make sure that your home is spotless. The main problem with viewings is that with a lot of light, dust particles come to the spotlight. Dust on improperly cleaned furniture—especially darker colored furniture—will show when light shines on it, which will more than likely deter potential buyers from choosing your home.