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.
A great way to add personality and warmth to your spaces is with artwork but sometimes the hanging and arranging can be a challenge. Check out some of our go-to guidelines to simplify the process and help you achieve the right overall balance for a well-designed room. Happy hanging! (Click here for downloadable PDF for future reference)
Artwork arrangement should span approximately 2/3 the width of the furniture it sits above.
Treat multiple pieces as one.
Keep height at eye level, roughly 60” from the center of the grouping to the floor which will create balance throughout the home if all the art shares the same visual midline.
Leave 2-5” between each frame for spacing.
Use craft paper and low-adhesive tape for figuring out arrangement and nail placement.
Photo Source: Ballard Designs
For even number groupings, keep pictures in the shape of a square with even spacing in between for symmetry.
Photo Source: Pottery Barn
For three in a row, choose vertical images so it doesn’t appear overcrowded.
Perfect for hallways or above sofas.
Photo Source: Pinterest
For an asymmetrical grouping, stagger by varying the height and distance so they create a visually balanced arrangement.
Photo Sources: Pinterest
For a large gallery wall with multiple types of styles, frames and sizes, try hanging larger pieces at the bottom left, small pieces in the upper right and mid-sized pieces in between for a unique look. Or start with the largest piece in the center as a focal point and arrange around it.
With the busy spring real estate market in full swing, it’s more important than ever for potential buyers to remember a property from the moment they step through the front door. That means thinking beyond furnishings and décor and presenting a lifestyle that they can envision with memorable, engaging accents.
Pops of Bold Hues
For the gorgeous living room shown above, our design team chose versatile navy-blue as the primary accent color which really pops and makes a statement against the soft, neutral backdrop. Since this room is one of the first that guests will notice upon entering the property, the use of an eye-catching color creates a focal point to draw potential buyers into the space. The cozy velvet side chair, accent pillows, artwork and pottery work together to create a sophisticated, unforgettable space.
Once the furnishings and decor are chosen, inviting vignettes arranged in trays and baskets help immediately draw buyers into the space and emotionally connect. In the photos above, we chose a collection of coordinating accents with texture and personality such as plants, flowers, colorful bottles, napkins and wine glasses to both convey a lifestyle and enhance the home’s unique style.
Using hanging art is a great way to add a subtle touch of warmth to help present a home in the most appealing light. We find that using simple imagery with soothing hues or text with a short message works best to add to the room’s style while not detracting from its best features. The canvas “Home Sweet Home” wall art and abstract art for fireplace shown above were the perfect finishing touches in the farmhouse style kitchen we recently staged with soft creams, wired baskets and pine furnishings.
Layering and mixing textures creates depth and visual interest in any space. In the rooms shown above we started with beautiful area rugs that contrast well with the dark hardwood flooring and added a mx of textured accents such as a faux fur throw, pillows in different fabrics, wood, gold and silver metallics, wire, glass and ceramics. The final result is an engaging space that will instantly get noticed by buyers.
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.
The saying “you can’t sell your house the way you live in it” is a great motto for sellers to live by if they want to sell quickly and for top dollar. This means stepping back and looking at your property as a product and showcasing it in the best light to target the specific needs of today’s buyers. The following are some key points to consider when marketing your home for success in a competitive market.
Family Room Staged by PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating This home sold within 36 hours of being listed for sale and had previously been on the
market for over one year.
1. Remove Distractions
After decluttering and depersonalizing, find the proper balance of modern furniture and accessories that will enhance a room so that buyers can focus on it’s unique features, size and flow.
Stage a room with just enough décor that isn’t distracting and helps buyers get an idea of what it would be like to live there with their own furniture in the space.
Kitchen Update and Staging by PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating
2. Boost Perceived Value With Basic Updates
An expensive overhaul is overkill as it won’t necessarily yield a high return on investment.
Basic updates and repairs such as bright white paint for kitchen or bathroom cabinets, new hardware, modern lighting, eco-friendly faucets and neutral wall color is all that is needed to suggest a home is in move-in ready condition.
Family Room Staged by PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating
3. Make It Memorable
A vacant home in particular doesn’t leave a lasting impression on buyers who can’t visualize beyond what they see.
Add key pieces of modern, clean-lined furniture, rugs, lighting and window treatments to fill the void with warmth and personality and make buyers that much more emotionally connected and more likely to make an offer.