Given we are in the depths of winter, it makes sense to revisit the tips we received from Hocking Stuart’s Jenny Dwyer in 2013 about selling your home in the colder months…here they are, with a few more to boot!
Natural light – run your open house at times when the natural light is at its’ brightest and best. Winter days are shorter and the sun is lower and sits to the North which provides a great opportunity to highlight any north facing areas.
Artificial light – in addition to taking advantage of any natural light, use lighting throughout the house to your advantage. Turn on your lamps and lighting fixtures to give your home a sophisticated and relaxed glow. Utilise mirrors which have the added effect of making rooms seem larger. Position these opposite your windows which will augment that feel.
Warmth – always make sure that you make your home as warm and welcoming as possible. In addition to considering baking something nice in the oven, utilise whatever assets you have, be it a log fire or central heating, to create a snug feel. Throw thick blankets on couches in communal living spaces and bedrooms and if you have exposed floorboards, use rugs to soften the feel of rooms.
Home repairs – rainy, cold days can often expose gutters that need repair or roof tiles that need replacing. Fix these as well as replace leaky faucets and chipped fixtures. Focus especially on window frames and make sure they don’t show signs of drafts or leakiness.
Outdoor spaces – if you have outdoor spaces that can be utilised for entertaining throughout the year, highlight how things like gas heaters, drop down cafe blinds or chimineas will help create a warm and inviting atmosphere.
Room spaces – if you have specific rooms that really shine in winter (e.g. well lit, north facing living rooms, exercise rooms, spas and heated pool areas) then ensure that visitors spend as much time in these spaces – position your agent, the property information sheets and tea and coffee if you are providing it, in close proximity to these spaces to enable people to linger and really get a feel for living in the house.
Clean windows – clean windows ensure that any sunlight that appears is able to stream freely into the home.
Ensure your entrance is spotless and caters to the cold weather – provide things like an umbrella stand, a coat rack, and even a welcome mat outside the door to prevent drips and mud being tracked in onto the carpet.
Show off your home looking its best – if your house really does show its best in the warmer months but you cant avoid a winter sale then display a series of photos of your home in other seasons. Helping a potential buyer visualise how the house presents throughout the year could be extremely helpful.
Gardens – try and have as much colour as possible (annuals/plants in bloom) on display, especially if you have an abundance of deciduous trees and shrubs which can look a little bleak in the middle of winter. Place potted winter flowers around the garden to add colour and obviously do the basics – rake the leaves, mow the lawn, and prune any dead flowers off bushes. In addition to plants, highlight structural elements such as retaining or feature walls, sculptures and water features.
Its important to note that, in general, irrespective of the time of the year, you should always sell when it feels right and I hope that these tips will help provide you with the confidence that your property can present beautifully, even in the depths of winter. Further, don’t forget that if you can present well in winter you can often take advantage of lower auction listings where less competition can often create an opportunity to maximise your sale price. Good luck and happy selling!
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