Selling a Home? Plan Your Staging for the Season!
Summer is widely acknowledged as the best time of year to sell a house, but there are caveats to this rule. For instance, if you’re selling a ski chalet, winter is almost certainly your best selling season. And because many families hope to move in over the summer, before school starts, many homebuyers get serious in February or March, so as to leave plenty of time to find the right house plans. The bottom line is that home sales occur throughout the year. Accordingly, home sellers should keep their offered properties in line with the seasons.
Probably the most obvious application of seasonal staging is in a house plan’s exterior spaces. In the summer and spring, decks, sidewalks, and patios should be swept regularly and decorated with a few pops of color via potted plants. Mums and pumpkins can brighten a home’s exterior in the fall. And evergreen wreaths add a touch of sparkle in the winter. (No matter what season it is, exterior walkways should be safe and clean—i.e. free of ice in the winter.) This external “curb appeal” is only one of many ways to stage a home according to the season. Here are a few more ways to stage your home for the season at hand:
Online Pictures of Your Home Should Match the Season. If you’re selling in the fall, but your online photographs show your home in the spring, for instance, it’s wise to upload new pictures to avoid the impression that your listing is outdated.
Create Sniff Appeal. Scent is a subtle but powerful selling opportunity. A delightful seasonal smell will quickly enchant buyers. So, if you’re selling in the fall, light a cinnamon candle or two. Fresh, fragrant flowers will wow buyers in the summer and spring. If you don’t have a real fireplace or wood stove, diffusers can create the same homey mixture of pine and smoke in the winter.
Aim for a Comfortable Atmosphere. Create the same cozy environment for potential buyers as you would for houseguests. Offer them a toasty drink in the winter, or a cool glass of lemonade in the summer. Be sure that the interior temperature is comfortable, no matter what season it is. Finally, a few seasonal accessories (a fluffy throw in the winter, a basket of fresh apples in the fall, etc.) will give buyers the impression that your home is well maintained. The implication is that a homeowner who pays such close attention to the passing of the seasons must also keep a close eye on the overall property.
Pay Attention to Lighting. Remember, many buyers scout out home plans in the evening, after they get off of work. Therefore, your home’s exterior should be well-lit. At a minimum, ensure that all exterior lights are functional; otherwise many buyers will be nonplussed before even entering the home. Plan to keep exterior lights on throughout the evening, so as to create an appealing impression.
One Final Tip: Clutter will discourage sales 365 days a year. So clear out those winter clothes if you’re selling in the summer; buyers will be impressed with your closet space. And keep your home spic and span, no matter what the calendar says.