Although the cold winter months between Thanksgiving and New Years are traditionally slower for the housing market, it can actually be an ideal time for sellers to stand out among the competition. Here are the key reasons sellers shouldn’t put off listing their properties this winter.
Winter Buyers Are Ready to Purchase
“Buyers who urgently need to find a home due to a change in job, retirement or family situation are usually serious, eager and qualified,” says realtor Mela Veltri Case of Re/Max Right Choice Real Estate in Trumbull, CT. “When a home is staged, it’s even more attractive and typically sells much quicker and for top dollar!” And those who were on the fence during the summer, will usually make an offer in the winter to avoid an increase in mortgage rates in the new year.
Less Inventory Equals More Attention
In general, lower housing inventory in the winter months means less competition for sellers to stand out and attract prospective buyers than when the market is saturated in the spring. Not only will there be an increased likelihood for more showings, also a greater chance of receiving a top dollar offer for your property.
Online Home Searching Has No Seasons
No matter what the temperature is outside, today’s younger buyers typically don’t connect with a real estate agent until after they narrow down their search online. According to a recent NARS report on the digital age, nearly all buyers (93%) used the internet during their home search in 2018. So even though the weather may be changing, serious home buyers won’t stop shopping since they are always on the lookout—checking the latest listings on their mobile devices in their spare time.
Spring Is Just Around the Corner
Even if you don’t find a buyer during the winter months, spring is just a few months away and you will then be ahead of the game in terms of being prepared for when the early spring market kicks off just after the Superbowl. The key is to keep the house staged and decluttered so it looks fresh and show-ready for the flood of buyers who will soon be actively searching.
With the Early Spring Selling Season officially here, it’s time to get your property ready to stand out on the market and make the best first impression for prospective buyers. Below are some of our tips for showcasing a big or small home’s best features to boost perceived value and engage buyers from the moment they step through the door.
A Neutral Foundation For the spacious, contemporary colonial above, we neutralized the dining room and front entry walls with some of our top warm taupe/grey picks from Sherwin Williams — Worldly Gray and Accessible Beige. Having a neutral foundation with both wall color and furniture makes a statement and allows a room’s architectural features (i.e. hardwood floors, molding, windows and tray ceilings) to really pop and get noticed.
Furniture Selection and Placement Whether staging a large or small space, the right furniture placement can make all the difference. For a large living room with big windows and high ceilings (as shown above), the key is to balance with warm, comfortable seating areas paired with accents that fill the space, highlight the features and engage buyers.F
For a smaller living room like the one pictured above, our team strategically chose a neutral love seat and chairs instead of a sofa to both increase perceived room size and create a warm and inviting space. In addition, arranging the furniture around the beautiful fireplace creates a focal point for buyers.
Inviting Accents and Vignettes The final touches are what really make a room inviting and memorable. Get creative with pops of colorful and coordinating modern accents arranged as vignettes for an office desk or console. Or use trays/baskets for a dining table centerpiece to help buyers emotionally connect as soon as they walk into a room.
Get ready to begin anew with some of the the latest home decor style and color trends for the New Year! Think lush velvets and natural woven fabrics, planters with a mix of botanicals, wallpaper in bold patterns, warm bronze metallics, jewel-toned hues and the industry’s Colors of the Year in coral, blues and grays. We hope our picks below spark your interest and inspire you to introduce some on-trend style that will make a chic statement all year long.
Product Sources: Crate and Barrel, Serena & Lily, Front Gate, West Elm
With a little advance planning and prep during the winter season, you can reduce home selling stress in the spring. Here’s our go-to list of what sellers should be doing now to ensure for a successful sale next spring.
1. Assess Your Home’s Condition – Inside & Out Take a step back and look at your property through the lens of your buyer to determine what needs the most attention for move-in ready appeal.
2. First Impressions Go A Long Way Tackle exterior repairs and maintain seasonal landscaping – such as cleaning gutters, raking lawn, trimming shrubs and shoveling driveways/walkways.
3. Remove Distractions & Get Organized Remove the clutter – personal items, collectibles and excessive furniture that distract from the room’s key features.
4. Make it Fresh & Bright Update anything that feels dark and dated with a neutral palette such as walls, cabinets, trim, window treatments and carpeting.
5. Create the “Wow Factor” After all the repairs and updates are complete, consider hiring a professional stager who can add the final aesthetic touches that will engage prospective buyers both online and in person.
When it comes to presenting a home for sale, setting the stage to appeal to a variety of potential buyers, no matter what their style, is key. While it’s a given that most young buyers are attracted to move-in ready homes featuring the latest appliances and fixtures, when shopping online, those features are secondary to the overall look and feel of the home. Most important are photos that showcase a clean-lined, neutral backdrop styled with accents that pop and shine to engage the average buyer in any demographic. Ultimately, by using simple styling and strategic arrangements that enhance a property’s key features, buyers can emotionally connect and therefore make the home more memorable.
Living Room Staged by PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating
For this custom-built contemporary home featuring cream, taupe, and brown paint colors along with light wood floors throughout, we paired tone on tone accessories in soft beige and cream along with pops of gold and silver accents to enhance the unique architectural details.
Dining Room Staged by PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating
For this elegant dining room framed with marble columns and a dark brown marble flooring inlay, we used a deep mahogany dining table styled with neutral greys and sparkling silver accents to really “wow” buyers looking to entertain guests in the space.
Master Bedroom Staged by PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating
This master bedroom features gorgeous custom details such as crown molding and built-in window seats with cabinets that are desirable to buyers looking for comfort and style. Our staging team showcased those features by creating an inviting, spa-like setting without being overstated. The simple, crisp white bedding, graphic grey area rugs, beige chairs and soothing blue, green and silver accents maximize the universal appeal of the space.