Tips for selling your home in the winter
BY STEFANIE FORNEY World of Homes Editor
Monday, December 10, 2012
First impressions can make a difference, not only when meeting people but also when shopping for a home. It only takes brief exposure to something or someone to decide for or against looking deeper.
Research has shown that in a few milliseconds of perceiving something, we unconsciously comprehend what it is and decide whether we like it or not on an emotional level.
Engaging a buyer’s five senses — vision, hearing, smell, taste and touch — as they check out your home is a smart move. It’s even more important in winter when much of a home’s landscaping is dormant and sunny days are few. Even a great home can seem dull and dreary in January.
“With the time change and darkness coming earlier, outdoor lighting will be the focal point of the home,” said Mary Schulze, manager of Garbe’s Lighting and Home Accessories. “Outdoor lighting provides security, beauty and a warm welcome. Think about the glass in the light fixture. Do you want clear glass that will give you an abundance of light or do you prefer an amber or tea stain glass that will provide ambient illumination. Also consider adding a timer to the outdoor lighting so that your fixtures will come on automatically at dusk and shut off at dawn. These timers are fairly inexpensive and offer peace of mind. Another way to bring beauty to your exterior is to add path, garden or tree lighting. These lights add function and ambience to the outdoor living area.”
For the interior of your home, you may want to add extra table or floor lamps for an additional layer of light and decor during the winter months. Be sure to turn on all the lights throughout your home interior to increase its appeal.
McGraw Realtor Lori Lassman suggests playing soft music when the house is being shown. “It’s soothing and makes visitors feel relaxed as they walk through your house.”
Consider baking bread or cookies or lighting a candle or two in a fresh scent.
“Don’t forget to put out those cookies that were baked. Who can resist homemade cookies or a mug of hot chocolate on a cold day?” Lassman said. “Make the buyer want to linger in your special home.”
Also, put out some comfy pillow and throws, adding textures to your rooms. “This is a chance to add faux furs and chunky knitted throws that just beg to be touched or wrapped up in,” Lassman added.
While lighting is important year-round, it’s essential during the darker winter months. When your home is on the market, it’s especially important to turn on every light in the house, even if it is sunny outside. Iriana Shlyan/Shutterstock
Bake some cookies to infuse an inviting scent into your home. Then leave some out for potential buyers to enjoy. Drozdowski/Shutterstock
Be sure to include some comfy pillows and throws on sofas or chairs, adding textures to your home decor. Nikshor/Shutterstock