During the winter months in Colorado, attracting homebuyers to go dashing through the snow to an open house in December requires a different plan than in the summer months. By staging your home appropriately, though, it could lead to a quicker sale. Here are some tips for staging your home during the holidays:
Fresh seasonal flowers
Brighten homebuyers’ moods on a cold, gloomy day with fresh flowers. During the winter months, fresh flowers add an element of surprise – making your home extra memorable – because gardens are covered with snow and people aren’t expecting to see them. Depending on the look you are going for, there are many winter flowers from which to choose.
To tie to the snow-theme outside, swing by your local florist and go with ‘snowdrops’ which are beautiful, droplet-like downturned white petals which begin to bloom in early November. Another great option is the white ranunculus flower. These delicate rose-like blossoms feature layers of tissue-thin petals and they look almost too perfect to be real. Or, go with the white Calla Lily to make a bolder statement. Calla lilies are popular during the winter season because of their vivid white, trumpet-like pedals and because they are so elegant; just a few can make for a stunning bouquet. Around the holidays, consider the deep burgundy varietal of the Calla Lily too. Another stunning flower to get buyers in the merry spirit is the amaryllis which is commonly used in Christmas arrangements. The vibrant red amaryllis are bright and cheery and are sure to make any space pop.
There’s no need to add flowers to every room because the little touches here are there will make a big impact. Perhaps add a nice bouquet on the dining room table and the kitchen island, and place small arrangements, even just a single bud, bedside or in the master bathroom.
Natural lighting is essential to staging any time of the year! The natural light brightens moods and spaces; it can even be used to make rooms appear larger than they really are. Open the window treatments to allow as much natural light in as possible. If your window curtains are not neutral in color, then the general rule of thumb is to buy new ones as neutral colors appeal to the broadest number of potential homebuyers. Assess whether your light fixtures are out of date, and invest in light fixtures that are contemporary, minimalistic and dimmable.
Another essential to home staging? Making sure every single light bulb works. Furthermore, changing your light bulbs should be a priority. Typically, homes have a mix of incandescent, curly CFLs and LEDs. Commit to an LED of the same color – preferably 3,000K soft or warm white to add a sense of familiarity and comfort – and change out all older bulbs. Pro tip: Change the color of desk lamps to a much dimmer color temperature of 2400K or lower to highlight office space.
Make it warm and cozy for the holidays
Oftentimes, homeowners are curious to know whether or not to decorate their home on the market during the holidays. The answer is yes. Holiday decorations paint the picture of what life will be like for buyers, so hang festive twinkling lights, wreaths and a decorated tree near Christmas if you celebrate the holiday. Decorate with a vision of what you might see when flipping through a lifestyle magazine… be careful of going overboard as clutter is a big no-no in home staging.
A great idea for adding holiday light and warmth is to turn on the fireplace and have a bundle of fresh wood beside it. The fresh cut logs should add a memorable smell to the home. Don’t forget about adding a few stockings as well!
Throw blankets are a must-have in staging your bedroom and couches too. The hottest throw blankets today are chunky, hand-knitted throws in neutral colors. Ultra faux fur throws can make any bedroom seem exceedingly comfortable with its soft, welcoming texture. And more traditional cashmere throws are great as they can add a sumptuous softness and cozy warmth year-round.
Enhance the senses
Candles offer staged homes a full sensory experience. You can select a scent that brings out memories of baking holiday cookies, or ones that make you feel like you’re hiking amongst fresh mountain pine, to traditional aromatherapy fragrances used to tap into emotions. Whatever mood you are going for, be sure to only select only one or your home could become overwhelming and actually be a deterrent to buyers.
What to choose? The smooth scent of vanilla is always a great option and it’s often used to make people feel uplifted and relaxed. Pine and cedar scents are fun when the Christmas tree is up because it taps into buyers’ own happy holiday memories, plus forest scents are known to reduce stress and promote feelings of greater well-being. Instead of candles, you could also opt for natural elements like fresh pine cones by the fireplace or bake fresh cookies before an open house.
Clear the path
This goes without saying, but the single most important thing a seller needs to do in the winter is to be sure all snow and ice have been removed and treated with salt from walkways and the driveway. Check your roof for any ice dams, and take care that all icicles have been knocked down. Removing snow advertises to potential homebuyers what your home really looks like in the winter elements. Furthermore, getting them in the door (quite literally) is critical to successfully selling your home this season.
Embrace the winter months. After all, ’Tis the season to focus on warmth, togetherness and family when staging your home sweet home during the holidays.