Staging a Home in Winter: How to Create Curb Appeal in Cold Weather
Creating curb appeal is vital when putting your home on the market — for the photos you post online as well as for buyers who visit your home. Even though moving in winter can be rough, there are plenty of things you can do to boost your curb appeal and home staging.
Winter Curb Appeal
The first impression buyers have of your home is its exterior. This goes for both your marketing photos and in person visits. This might be a little more challenging without greenery to rely on, but there are still things to make your home welcoming.
Clear Driveways and Walkways
This may seem obvious, but clearing your driveway and your walkway is important. Not only is it one of the first things visitors see, but it poses a safety hazard and a literal obstacle to buyers trying to view your home.
If you are still in your home, make sure there are no toys, vehicles, tools, etc. in the way when buyers are coming to see your house.
If you are already out of your home, stop by after any snowstorms or melts to shovel and/or salt all walkways (or hire someone to do it for you).
Boost the Exterior
There are several options that you can do regardless of the time of year.
- give your front door a fresh coat of paint
- get new address numbers
- replace your outdoor lighting fixture
- add attractive planters with cold-weather greenery
Be sure to take care of any necessary repairs or cleaning as well.
Organize Your Garage
Organizing your garage is a strong indicator of how the garage can be utilized as well as how it was kept up. Sweep and mop the floor, organize your items (such as tools or equipment) with shelves, hooks, tool cabinets and boxes. Mainly, being sure the space looks clean and neat is important, as well as being able to make the garage look as big as possible.
Exterior appeal is important, but staging needs just as much attention. Staging during the winter months is all about creating an atmosphere that’s welcoming and positive. Even if you don’t pay to have your home professionally staged, there are still some important steps to take.
Turn up the Heat
Be sure the heat is at a cozy temperature so that buyers immediately feel comfortable. If your home is chilly buyers will rush through and leave quickly (possibly without giving your home serious consideration).
However, don’t make the mistake of having a fire going if you have a fireplace; it’s unsafe and could make your house too hot. Keep it at a solid 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the outside temperature, and you should be set.
Use Plenty of Light
The winter is dreary and dark, so be sure to have lots of lights on and the blinds open to make your home feel brighter. Switch to brighter bulbs, and make sure your lighting fixtures and lamps are all clean. When you take photos, be sure that all the lights are on as well so that it looks cozy and inviting no matter what time of day.
Protect Your Floors
Keep mats both inside and outside each of the doors to keep floors dry and free from winter dirt. Not only will it keep your home cleaner, but it will give a stronger impression that your home has been well maintained to potential buyers.
It’s a good idea to have a sign requesting that people remove their shoes so they don’t track melting snow through your home. Some realtors also put out a small container of reusable shoe covers for people who wish to keep their shoes on.
Guard against Odors
When homes are shut up for winter the air inside the house can become stale and dry. Consider opening a window or two a day before any showings to let fresh air in, and keep the home clean so it looks and smells fresh. You can even simmer cinnamon over the stove when expecting visitors for a cozy, winter feel.
Avoid artificial scents like potpourri or air fresheners. These can trigger allergies for some and, even worse, can make people think you’re trying to hide something (such as mold, mildew, or animal odors).