Millennials are looking for properties in move-in condition and want to avoid the expense of significant repairs. Check out our room-by-room upgrades that will get that listing sold in our most recent article featured in National Association of Realtors’ Styled Staged and Sold blog.
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.
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.
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.