Staging Your Home in the Winter: Tips for Occupied and Vacant Listings

By The A-Team | Nov 01, 2017 | Fort McMurray - Seller Advice

Listing in the Winter

Contrary to popular belief, selling in the winter months can be a good idea if you have strong reasons for selling. If you have your home listed with us (or soon will), then this post is for you!

Consider taking the following advice to prepare your home so that it is welcoming. That will make it easier for us REALTORS® to show it to buyers, which, in turn, will increase the potential for offers to come in.

My name is Denise Hildebrand. I am a specialist listing agent with The A-Team, and here’s my advice: (Some points might be obvious, others not so much!)

When You Live in Your Home:

  • Turn on your outside lights before leaving so your house number is visible
  • Shovel your driveway and the staircase/porch to your home
  • Put salt down on your driveway, sidewalk and steps to prevent slipping
  • Have a large mat at the front entrance so people can get in and take their shoes off without leaving a puddle of snow behind
  • If you have a gas fireplace then turn it on – the warm, cozy feeling this gives people when they enter your home is sure to impress!
  • Leave all the lights on in your home and leave a note to the agent who will be showing your home letting them know to not worry about turning them all off. The home should be lit up like a Christmas tree, AND the easier it is for the agent showing your home to their clients, the better the showing will go
  • If you have a deck off your back door, then take the time to shovel it: People like to see what they are potentially buying
  • To give that “warm & cozy” feeling, consider displaying flameless candles with timers that are set to go on between 4:30 – 8:30pm – this gives a similar feeling as the gas fireplace does
  • Treats with a note for the agent and clients are a great idea, too
If you get a showing request and you know you won’t have time to get home from work to turn on the lights, etc. before the showing, then consider having a neighbour pop over to do it for you. This makes it a lot easier for the agent and clients viewing your home.

A fireplace gives off a warm feeling that really adds to the atmosphere of a home.

If you can’t arrange for these things to happen, then don’t decline last-minute showing requests! It’s better to get buyers through anyway. These suggestions are just the “cherry on top”, so don’t worry.

If you are a pet owner, and you’re working long hours, how about asking a neighbour or dog walker to check on your pet to ensure there are no surprises left behind when showings take place?

When You Are Selling a Vacant Home:

  • Arrange for a company/person to look after shoveling your driveway, staircase/porch
  • Arrange for a company/person to put salt down on the driveway, sidewalk, and staircase to prevent slipping
  • Arrange for that person to remove flyers from the porch area
  • Have a timer set for your outdoor lights to come on for the hours of 4:30pm to 9:00pm
  • Have a large mat at the front entrance so people can get in and take their shoes off without leaving a mess behind
  • You may want to keep your heat on low as it is vacant, but consider asking a neighbour or friend to turn it up to at least 20-22 degrees so that when the showings take place, people aren’t shivering from the cold…this will allow people to stay longer and actually look at your home! If it is too cold, then they will go through as quickly as possible and may miss all the special features your home has to offer, which will reduce the likelihood of them offering. If you can afford it, leave the thermostat at 22 degrees at all times.
Whether your home is lived in or vacant, following these simple suggestions will increase the likelihood of potential buyers feeling that you care about your home and that you are serious about selling it.

Selling your home involves more than just putting a “For Sale” sign up in the front yard. It is a real estate professional’s job to expertly market your property, and maximize the chances of making a sale, but it is everyone’s job to ensure your home presents well.

If you have questions now, or at any time throughout the process, your A-Team agent will be more than happy to help you. After all, this is what we love to do!

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The A-Team

The A-Team is an accomplished real estate team, made up of Tom & Breanna Albrecht, with RE/MAX First. The A-Team serves buyers and sellers in both Fort McMurray, and Calgary. Drop them a line at 780.804.4800...