Good property inventory tends to dip even lower during the winter months. It’s one of several good reasons to put your home on the market now. If you want to pursue the advantages of a winter market, here are a few staging tips to consider that will lower your time on market and put more money in your pocket.
Let there be light!
If you add exterior holiday lighting to your home, keep in mind that small white lights make the best neutral presentation and you should keep the Clark Griswold installations for your next home. Inside your home, since it gets dark earlier in the day, make sure that your light bulbs are all replaced and that you avoid the energy efficient lighting that takes time to warm up as these don’t work well for a quick walk through of the house during showings and keep the curtains and shades open. Be sure to keep small lamps on in the home to brighten any dark spots in rooms or better yet, use timers to make sure lights are on at 4:00 pm as the sun starts setting.
Warm up your home without filling it up…
Everyone loves holiday décor because it makes the house look warm and inviting. A little here will go a long way if your home is on the market. The key is to add some holiday accents and avoid holiday overload. To keep your home from looking small and cluttered, avoid displaying any collections with small pieces. Instead, add a few generic winter accents such as small white lights, a green wreath at the front door, pinecones and candles to accessorize. The great thing about keeping the accents “winter generic” is that they can carry you through the entire winter past Valentine’s Day. This time of year is also a great time to fill your home with holiday scents. Cinnamon, vanilla, and pine invite the emotional senses to enjoy the space too and don’t be afraid to share some of Santa’s cookies with potential buyers.
Reevaluate what you need
Don’t pay to move things that you will never use. If you have bins of holiday décor that haven’t been opened in years, it’s time to thin it out and keep your favorites. Ask yourself if you love it, need it or get good use out of it. If the answer is no, let it go!
Avoid a mess
Put new clean mats at the door outside and inside each entrance. This will give buyers the opportunity to wipe their feet as they walk in and out of the house. Ask for booties and signage to be left for buyers to help keep muddy tracks to a minimum.
Holiday Photos on the MLS
A bad photo online today can kill your chances of getting a showing. If an oversized Christmas tree takes up half of the room in a photo, buyers may perceive the house as being too small and cross it off their list. Your rooms will photograph better without a tree, so photograph first and then put up a tree in proportion with your room afterwards if you must.
After the Holidays?
If your home is still on the market, or if you plan to list it after the new year, make absolutely sure that all of your holiday décor is packed away. It is not a good sign to have anything left up. Furthermore, if you still have Christmas lights on your home by the time February rolls around, it sends a strong message to potential buyers that you aren’t maintaining the home.
One final note
At Group O’Dell we take the winter market very seriously and work hard to avoid the red flags of how long the home has been on the market; like arranging for snow to be shoveled, picking up solicitations from your door when it’s unoccupied and updating photos after the tree is packed away and the snow melts. Winter home sales require extra attention to detail so don’t hesitate to call us at 913-599-6363 for an opinion on what it will take to get your home sold this winter.