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.
We are loving the two hues – indigo and black – that are taking center stage as the “new neutrals” in home decor. These two “it” colors pair well with a range of color palettes, metallic finishes and materials and are being shown in everything from modern kitchens to lighting, hardware, rugs, sofas and more. Check out our picks below for some styling inspiration for adding these colors to your own home.
Rich, serene and bold, indigo blue’s versatility makes it ideal for both contemporary and traditional interiors. When used as a wall color, it can create a cozy and moody vibe and when used as an accent feature, it feels lighter and more playful. Mix and match it with a soft cream sofa for a soothing, coastal feel or create some energy with pops of red, yellow, chartreuse, coral or brown in pillows, art or rugs.
Black is also a great foundation color that adds depth and elegance to any space when paired with crisp white, creams, and gray. It is being shown in every texture and finish, from velvet and leather to natural wood and heavy rug weaves. Try using it for light pendants or hardware in a kitchen or for furniture, wall art and rugs for a dramatic style.
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.
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.
Color is one of the most dynamic and versatile design elements for adding personal style to your home’s decor. It not only sets the mood and tone, but can also bring out a room’s architectural features. Wallpaper is also back in style and can help add depth and interest to any room.
Not sure where to begin when choosing a paint color or wallpaper pattern for your spaces? The following are some tips and creative ideas that we hope will inspire you.
1. Create Your Palette
Start by considering your personal color preferences. Which colors do you gravitate towards – jewel tones, pastels, neutral?
Collect images and swatches from Pinterest, Houzz, and other decor sources. Even consider your own personal experiences: vacations, nature, artwork, etc. that attract and inspire you.
Group the colors and view them together in the room to see how they look with existing furnishings and during different times of the day (colors look different in the morning, afternoon and evening).
2. Define The Mood
Narrow down colors based on the vibe they evoke.
Decorate with intention by choosing colors that have personal meaning and give you a sense of satisfaction.
Hues from nature such as blue, green and tan feel tranquil, soothing and renewing.
Bright yellows, oranges and reds enliven a space with warmth and energy.
Darker colors convey mystery, drama and formality while lighter colors are lively and optimistic.
3. Accent Your Space
There are many ways to highlight your home’s architectural features with color:
Try lightening up a traditional brick fireplace by whitewashing it for a more modern look.
Built-in shelving can be treated like furniture by using either the same color paint or a contrast color to the walls. Make a bookshelf pop by painting the back of the shelves a complementary accent color
Try using contrasting color on stairway risers and/or spindles for a dramatic entryway.
4. Add Personal Style With Wallpaper
Wallpaper can add style and dimension to any space. Consider using wallpaper as an accent wall in a small office or powder room.
Keep the style of the wallpaper similar to your home’s decor – traditional, contemporary, rustic, etc.
You should feel emotionally attached to the design so you won’t get tired of it quickly.
In a room with many doors and windows, avoid large pattern repeats. Instead, choose a textured or solid color.
5. Still Overwhelmed?
Consider consulting with an interior designer who can help narrow down paint and paper selections based on your taste and budget.
For more info please contact Patti Stern at 203.640.3762 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.