Although many people “wait” for the spring real estate market, winter can be a wonderful time to list your home. There is less inventory and competition in the marketplace, and with a few inspirational winter staging tips, your home will be winter wonderful.

Easy Entry
Shovel and de-ice the driveway, and all the walkways and steps. Make it both easy and safe for potential buyers to access your home.

Curb Appeal
Remove all excess debris such as leaves and twigs and undesirable accessories out of the way. Create a beautiful entrance – a beautifully painted front door, lighting, a welcome mat, and either a wreath or a pot with some winter greenery. Keep outdoor lighting on after dusk.

Conscious Real Estate — Winter Home Staging Tips

Entry and First Impression
Keep the entry area clutter-free, and yet make it winter ready. Provide a welcome mat for winter boots or shoes/ or a basket of shoe covers from your realtor. A bench or seat in the entry offers the buyer a place to sit if needed, and coat hooks or empty closet can hold winter jackets. Make them comfortable.

Temperature and Comfort
A chilly home can be uncomfortable for your buyers, so raise the thermostat up to about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Create a warm experience.

Declutter and Decorate with Warmth and Simplicity
Enough said in the title, and yet we struggle with clutter and often over-decorating. Create one beautiful focal point per room, and let the room shine. You can add some winter “throws” and pillows to create some depth and invitation. Keep Holiday décor simple. Although scented candles are recommended, I avoid them as there are many people with allergies and it can be an issue.

Let the Light Shine
Winter is a dark season, and lighting is important whether staging to sell or just finding uplift in your home. Use warm lights, avoid very bright overpowering light. Add light to each room – beautiful lamps and floor lamps. Use light colored window treatments to allow the light to reflect into the space. Keep the lights on when showing.

Create Cozy
Find some great spots to create ambiance and a cozy nook, perhaps for reading, around the fireplace or a small table. Faux Fur and natural textured fabrics and pillows can set a beautiful tone, with candles (even battery candles).

Light Your Fire
Take advantage of your wonderful fireplace this time of year. It will create instant ambiance. If you do not use the fireplace, you can add some nice decorative logs, and even an array of candles.

Stay in the Season
Seasonal décor needs to be “in season”. Keep it current. During the winter, touches of red and gold are always in season, but the big Santa statue may need to find a rest. Avoid over-decorating, keep it simple and yet warm and inviting.

Showing All the Possibilities
Although it is winter, you are still able to show off some of your home’s backyard and sunroom features. Keep the deck shoveled. Arrange a seating area around a fire pit. Warm up the sunroom with pillows. You can arrange photos of the outdoor spaces on an easel or in a brochure to show the buyer the exterior home benefits.

Bake Cookies?
Avoiding artificial candles is one thing, and a home-made smell of cookies is another. You can have hot cider or hot chocolate available as well, if it is allowed in your area’s real estate policy. It’s worth a mention to have an old-fashioned experience for the new buyers.

By Renae Jensen