Winter can be a hard time to sell homes, especially when the front yard is lacking its flower garden and the snow is taking away from the lawn’s curb appeal. But there are ways to stage an open house in the wintertime, especially with a bit of creativity. Real estate agents knows that putting emphasis on the home’s practical attractiveness is a priority, and adding a bit of wintry aesthetics can draw home buyers in to admire the home.
These open house tips may require a bit of elbow grease and some unique home decorating ideas, but they’re definitely worth looking into if there’s a chance that the extra attention will attract home buyers. Some families want to move and settle during the off-season in hopes that prices will drop, and their children can begin the semester at a new school. Not to mention, nothing brightens a new home like holiday cheer and gifts.
Here are a few of the ways that a winter-proofed home can be made attractive to home buyers, especially if the season is particularly harsh.
- Home Decorations ! Even if this doesn’t have a lot of practical value, it’s the most obvious option on the list. Put up lights, put out Christmas decorations, and bake cookies beforehand. Offer themed refreshments for home buyers, and try to make the open house seem more like a party than a staged tour. Positive memories make the real estate property glow brighter in hindsight.
- Make sure everything is accessible. Another seemingly obvious real estate tip, but you should never forget it. Clear driveways of snow, make sure the walkways and steps are clear and salted, and if there are sheds or gazebos, try clearing those paths too. Show off the home’s outdoor assets as much as you can despite the weather.
- Display pictures! While it may seem silly to display pictures of the real estate property inside the home, keeping photos of the home during the summer and spring can let home buyers know what the house looks like in the warmer seasons. Try putting them near an entry table or kitchen counter, so guests will get a glimpse while coming in or getting snacks. This is especially important if money has been spent on landscaping, as the effort may go unnoticed under all the snow.
- Showcase the real estate property winterized appeal. No-one is more attracted by a winterized garage than someone who has spent the past hour driving through snow. Sealed garage floors, efficient heating, fireplaces, and filmed windows look very good to winter home buyers. If there is a working fireplace, light it before guests arrive to show off how it works and provide a warm glow inside of the house, who doesn’t love a beautiful fireplace to warm their hands by? Just be sure to test it beforehand! No-one wants to be greeted by a smoky house.
- Keep things warm. Speaking of fireplaces, make sure the house is warm and welcome before inviting guests inside. Light a fire, turn on the central heat, and bake a batch of cookies to warm up the house. Nothing is better than being greeted by the smell of home-made cookies and a cozy home. For more scent options feel free to read our Scents that Attract Home Buyers During an Open House in the Fall & Winter Months article.
- Light Candles. Candles are a great way to fight the winter blues, as well as to provide warmth to any home during the winter. Not only will the home smell great, it will feel great. Lit candles provide that “at-home feeling” every family is looking for. Be sure to use candles with a light scent, so it doesn’t overwhelm the potential home buyers, and don’t mix to many smells together.
While it can be hard to wrangle the winter months into something appealing, planning ahead and preparing for the icy cold can go a long way. From the front steps to the inside, if every step of the way is warm and dry, home buyers are much more likely to give your real estate property a chance at their shortlist.