There are still two months of winter before spring hits on March 21st, so if you’re selling your home in the chilly season, it’s essential to extend the warmest of welcomes to potential buyers when they visit.
The sensations of comfort and joy that make you glad to be indoors are precisely how your viewers should feel as they enter your home from traipsing around in the cold. By warming their bodies and seducing their souls, you can deliver an invitation to stick around not just for now, but forever. And if nothing else, you’ll have proved that the heating works!
So let’s take a look at how you can capture a feeling of irresistible cosiness - the Danes call it hygge - throughout every corner of your home. Read on and discover how cold viewers can be turned into hot buyers, compelled to contact your agent with a full asking price offer and determined to make the place where you live, the place they call home.
HALL OR NOTHING
Think how wonderful it feels when you return home from a long winter’s walk, a trip to the shop in the freezing cold, or a busy day at work. You put the key in the lock, open the front door, and feel the warm air from inside blow over your face.
Then, as you step into your hall and take off your coat and shoes, you exhale a satisfied “ahhhhhh” as you head into the kitchen to put the kettle on, happy in the knowledge that you’re in and toasty for the evening. That’s the feeling to create for everyone who comes to view.
Start with a greeting as welcoming as Santa, and put your outdoor lamps and hallway light on a timer. With one simple automation you’ll never fail to present a daily come-inside glow the minute that dusk begins to fall.
Inside, make sure the temperature encourages your viewers to stay and savour your home, rather than scurry about with their arms wrapped tightly around them while their breath steams in the freezing air.
For an enthusiastic removal of coats and shoes, you need to make room for coats and shoes to go. Empty some hooks and clear some floor space to make it easy for potential buyers to make themselves at home.
LOUNGES TO LOVE
Not everyone has an open or real flame fire, but for those of you who do, it’s time to put it to work! If you’re around shortly before viewings, be sure to leave the fire lit so it’s crackling and popping in readiness for your visitors. (Or ask your agent to arrive early and set the scene.)
To combat the darker days and longer nights, turn your side lamps on and check to ensure they’re radiating a soft and mellow light. That means bulbs with warm-white and soft tones, rather than stark, interrogation-room fluorescence.
Now turn to your couch and armchairs. Do they call you to sink into the upholstery, or do they encourage you to stand? A chunky-knit throw over the sofa is an invitation to fall into its comforting arms, while a simple cushion can turn an empty armchair into a snug reading or whiskey spot.
Pop a butternut squash on your worktop and try saying it doesn’t make a difference! Winter vegetables – and squashes and pumpkins in particular – have a glorious presence and are nature’s very own works of delicious and edible art.
But why stop there? Stand a winter recipe book behind them, like Riverford’s Autumn & Winter Cookbook with its stunning cover of colourful gourds. With a simple stroke you’ll conjure convivial imagery in your viewers’ minds of snug winter evenings with hearty stews, soups, conversation and laughter.
And if you’d been thinking of baking an apple and cinnamon crumble but were holding off for the right occasion, the perfect moment to fill your home with delicious aromas is just before a viewing!
With their tiled surfaces, chrome accessories and bright white fittings, bathrooms can sometimes feel clinical and cold. That might be a welcome respite from hot summer days, but the winter months require a warmer touch.
Timber and textiles are your friends here. As purveyors of romance and comfort, their very presence can transform the look, feel and acoustic of your bathroom, turning a hard and echoey space into a soft and soothing one.
Wood goes with everything, and its grain and tone will enrich any setting and style. Bamboo bath shelves look brilliant when loaded with soaps from Lush and amber medicine bottles, while an oak duckboard in front of the shower makes a chic alternative to a soggy mat.
Folded fluffy towels are a fast and foolproof injection of luxurious texture, while sumptuous robes hanging from hooks turn up the spa-quality. You could even keep special sets of both that are purely for viewings: buy the ones you want for your next home now, but use them only for show when potential buyers visit.
Remove any bathroom products with garish bottles or tubes (that means most of them!) and only display your aesthetically-pleasing pots and potions like Rituals, Aesop and Jo Malone.
When it comes to a dream bedroom, it’s remarkably easy to create a seductive inner sanctum no matter how minimalist or maximalist your lifestyle.
The simple act of laying a thick blanket or throw across the bottom half of the bed will instantly spice up your bedroom’s allure, with bonus points for a couple of woven cushions in front of your pillows.
If you’ve got a wall that feels bare, hang a large print to break up the barren expanse, or try the hotelier’s hack of painting the wall behind the bed in a rich, velvety tone for an elevated boutique experience.
A fabric laundry hamper can swallow any wayward clothing, while the living-room trick of soft-tone bulbs for your bedside lamps will melt the heart of anyone coming to view.
Even if you’re staying inside for as much of winter as you can, it doesn’t mean your garden or balcony can’t look beautiful and inviting.
Lighting is essential: your viewers need to see what’s out there so they can fall in love with it. So check your exterior lights are working and, if you don’t have any installed, sling a string of bulbs between walls or trees for charming winter magic. I
f you’ve got a covered deck or patio where your furniture won’t get battered by the elements, leave your table and chairs on display. Even when they’re not in use they can still demonstrate what a wonderful place you have to sit and enjoy the outdoors.
The next best option is to store them away in a shed or garage, with furniture covers coming in third as the final resort: while they’re supremely practical, they’re rarely a stylish accessory.
You can still buy colourful winter flowers like cyclamens and pansies from garden centres that are already in bloom, and they look far better in your pots than dead leaves or desolate soil.
Can you see how easy it is to create the warmest of welcomes and a delightful viewing experience for anyone coming to view? With a few minutes of online ordering, you can have your home looking and feeling like an irresistible place to hide away when it’s cold and bleak outside.
If you have a property in Southampton and you’ve been struggling to find a buyer, or if you’re thinking about selling, why not get in touch? Call us for a chat on 02380 987 720 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org - we’d love to help you make the most of winter viewings so you can get your move underway.