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A den staged for a winter open house

Preparing for a Winter Open House

5 tips for putting your home’s best face forward—even in the cold-weather months

If you’re considering putting your home on the market but are hesitant to make a move during the cold-weather months, you may want to reconsider. Contrary to what you may have heard, homebuying is becoming a year-round event. Although prospective buyers won’t experience sunny weather and that little extra curb appeal that spring flowers or a lush lawn can provide, the luster can still be felt in the dead of winter. The trick to a successful winter open house is to get more visitors to come indoors and warm up in the comfort of your home.

To help your home stand out even when the temperatures are low, here are five simple ways to get potential buyers in the door to show off its key features:

1. Shovel Out the Snow

This may seem like a no-brainer, but no one will be able to attend your open house if you make them cut through mountains of snow to get to the front door. Take the time to salt any icy spots and ensure your walkways and stairs are easy to navigate and will not run the risk of causing any potential buyers to slip and fall.

2. Show Your Property’s Best Features

Even if your trees are bare and your flowers are completely dead, you should still make an effort to show prospective buyers what your landscaped property looks like at its prime. Have some photos on hand and be ready to show them if you are not able to replicate the landscaping during the winter months.

3. Make Guests Feel Cozy

The weather might be frigid and uninviting outside, but that doesn’t mean you can’t set a warm and welcoming tone on the inside. To help prospective buyers feel instantly at home, light a candle or fire up the fireplace, if that’s an option. The goal here is to keep your place feeling heated and comfortable when prospective buyers walk through the door, but not so overwhelmingly hot that they are ready to run out into the cold.

4. Set Up an Outerwear Station

When there is snow on the ground, mud and wet footprints are sure to follow. To keep your staged home looking fresh and clean, set up a landing zone right outside your entrance where visitors can drop their damp boots, outerwear and jackets. You can even put up a small sign that asks them to remove any dirty items before entering the space.

5. Let the Light in

The winter months aren’t just cold, they are also dark. To help prospective buyers see the potential in your place even when there’s no natural light streaming in, add in additional fixtures where some extra rays are needed, as well as remove any dark drapes and clean your windows. Even if natural light isn’t a possibility, make it so that the space feels bright and cheerful to visitors entering your space.

If you are gearing up to sell your home in the colder months, contact the experienced real estate attorneys at ALA for help in navigating the residential transaction, especially if you are selling your home without the assistance of a real estate broker.

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