Preparing your property for the colder months

With shorter days and less light, a home can look and feel less inviting in the cooler months. Jan von Draczek, Director of Fine & Country Rutland, Stamford & South Lincolnshire discusses how to prepare your property for sale when the weather is not optimal.

Light the fire on cold days to create a warm and cosy feel for buyersMill House

It is widely acknowledged that winter isn’t always considered the best season for property sales, but the right time to sell isn’t about the season we’re in, but rather, the right timing for you. There may be fewer buyers in the market, but the buyers that are active tend to be serious about securing a property. There are challenges to address, but everything has a flip side, and some properties present better in winter. 

On the downside, a home can feel less inviting in the heart of winter. Nor are gardens at their optimal attractiveness. There is also the break with the Christmas holidays in the middle. There are, however, ways to overcome any negatives and present your property in its best light. 

Acknowledging that with winter comes rain and more extreme weather, it’s important to make sure obvious issues are fixed. Check for leaks and clear blockages from gutters and down pipes as a starting point. While you’re outside, make sure the garden is tidy and autumn leaves are not littering the lawns. A few strategically placed pots and hanging baskets of winter flowering plants can provide an attractive first impression. If you have a fire pit or outdoor heating, get it ready for use – dress the area and show it is ready for cosy, all-year outdoor entertaining. Keep paths swept and tidy up hedges.

It might be cold outside but ensure there is a warm welcome when entering the house. Don’t be stingy with the heating and optimise the light. If you have an open fire, use it. Lots of buyers love the romance of an evening snuggled in front of the open fire and this is the season to make the most of it. Add some warmth with winter-toned throws and cushions over the sofa and on beds to generate that cosy feeling throughout the property. Consider adding floor rugs to areas that have floorboards or are tiled.

An example of a stunning living room that is neat and tidy to allow buyers to imagine themselves living there – a former vicarage

Make sure your windows are clean, too, to let in as much light as possible. Open drapes and shutters unless there is a particularly unattractive view, and turn on all the lights before a viewing. If there are any particularly dark corners, invest in some floor lamps to brighten them. If you have an area that gets winter sun, be sure to feature it as a highlight. 

In any season, it is important to clear away personal clutter. Remember, you are trying to create a space where buyers can imagine themselves living. As tempting as it may be, avoid bringing out the 20-year-old Christmas decorations or even the sparkling new baubles. Not everyone celebrates Christmas and tastes vary. Live by the mantra less is more. Make do with a small grouping of candles to reflect the season, but make sure the colours blend with your current décor. This will do far more than a plethora of family photographs on the mantle-piece, fringed with tinsel.

The ambiance of the property needs to appeal to all of the senses, so consider playing soft music throughout the house. Light jazz or classical music is always soothing. Make sure the house smells fresh and clean, but keep in mind many people are allergic to certain scents, so don’t overdo the air fresheners.

Finally, if you’re not comfortable with your own styling ability, consider employing a styling company. Research suggests that styling your home can boost the sale price of your property by 7.5 per cent. That’s worth paying for.

Find Out More

For more information about selling your home, contact our Rutland, Stamford & South Lincolnshire office on 01780 750 200 or the Oundle and North Northamptonshire office on 01832 808 008.

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