Tips for staging a house during the winter

By Kelly Leighton | Jan. 7, 2015 | 3 min. read

Trying to sell a home in the winter can be a bit more challenging than warmer months. However, there are still plenty of clients who need to buy or sell during this time period. Michael Corbett, Trulia’s real estate and lifestyle expert, offered eight tips for your clients to help sell during the colder months.

  1. Slip or sale?
    If snow is on the ground, pick up that snow shovel and start plowing through the white stuff. Make sure all the walkways from the street and driveway to the front door are cleared of snow. (Remember to de-ice slippery areas as well.) Nothing ruins a home tour experience for a buyer like a slip-and-fall into a snow mound on her way in.
  2. Create a landing area
    If they have an outdoor front porch, keep it cleared of snow and ice and as dry as possible. Be sure they have a rug or mat near the door for home shoppers to wipe their feet, an umbrella stand for those drippy umbrellas and a coat rack of some kind where they can drop bulky jackets and scarfs.
  3. Not too hot, not too cold
    Make sure the heat is on and the house is just the right temperature. The front door will be opening and closing throughout the day, so you will want to allow for that continued loss of heat.
  4. Un-decorate
    Remind clients to keep decorations minimal and tasteful. The blowup Santa on the roof two weeks after Christmas will be nothing but a distraction to buyers, and a ten-foot tree crammed into a 9.5-foot living room is only going to make the interior rooms look puny.
  5. Find the light
    Winter’s shorter days are frequently cloudy, too. So it is extremely important to turn on as much light as possible. Bright and airy is always more appealing to a buyer than dark and stuffy. Even though you may not be able to have the windows open, you can certainly make sure they are sparkling clean and all the drapes are pulled back.
  6. Depersonalize the home
    No matter if it’s winter, spring, or fall, I guarantee there is far too much of the client in the house. Prior to any open house, have them depersonalize the home. Get rid of what they’re not using, then edit and organize the rest. Suggest they start in one room and systematically go through every drawer, every closet and every shelf.
  7. Send Fido on a holiday
    Pets are a very personal part of your home, and the goal is to depersonalize the space and make it comfortable for buyers.
  8. Give them a hot one
    Borrow your Aunt Louise’s slow cooker and have a nice setup for spiced cranberry- apple cider. Another plus: It smells wonderful and can really light up the senses of everyone who comes into your home. It’s not a bad thing for your cold, thirsty buyers to linger in the kitchen and take five more minutes. Who knows? That warming reprieve might just give them a taste of their new home.

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