Since we were selling our home smack dab in the middle of the brutal Midwest winter, we had to deal with some unique challenges that didn’t come up during our previous home sale.
As such, here are our top 5 tips for winter staging and home showings:
1 – Spruce up the outdoors
Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean the outside of your house and surrounding yard gets a free pass. Try to make them as appealing as possible, no matter what the weather conditions.
We washed the windows on the front door and elsewhere with water and a bit of rubbing alcohol so they did not freeze right away.
We used pieces off our live Christmas tree to decorate the front flower boxes with greenery. It covered up the messy dirt and bricks in a nice and seasonally appropriate way.
We cleared all the snow and ice off the deck and kept a few things outside that gave ideas of how the space could be used in nicer weather.
2 – Have pics of the house in better weather conditions and/or explanations of what’s in the yard
We made a list of things that were not necessarily visible outside but might appeal to some buyers, including perennials, a fruit tree, and asparagus patch.
While we did not have pics of the house in it’s spring/summer state, if available it would also be nice to have some photos showing it off, especially if your yard is landscaped nicely.
3 – Plan for inclement weather. What will you do for open houses/showings?
On our first open house date there was an ice storm. We had not discussed this possibility with the Realtor in advance and had to determine whether to cancel the event, what to do with people that showed up despite the cancellation, etc.
4 – Clear sidewalks/driveways/decks and other outdoor spaces
It may seem obvious, but you really don’t want buyers to slip on the way in the door or when trying to look around the property!
Additionally, expect wet shoes and have an easy way for people to clean them off or remove them, both so they don’t slip up and don’t make a mess in the house.
5 – All lights on, shades open in the day
Since it’s usually much darker in winter time, it’s important to give your place as much light as possible! For us, that meant all shades and curtains were opened in the day time and all lights in every room were turned on prior to our leaving the house for the showing. This resulted in warmer looking spaces and no fumbling around for light switches in the dark by people unfamiliar with their placement.