Staging Your Winter Backyard:
5 Tips To Warm It Up
Winter has arrived! If you buy into the theory that spring is the best season to sell your home this could be viewed as bad news. However, new data demonstrates that although the months of June to November are busier for real estate agents, the winter months might be the better season to sell your home. In fact, even in cold weather cities, homes listed in the winter months sold faster than those listed in the spring.
Furthermore, average sellers can net more above the asking price during the months of December through to March than they can in June through to November. Potential home buyers who are out viewing homes in the middle of the cold and snow are very motivated buyers. Perhaps they are being relocated or perhaps they are just trying to beat the rush and craziness of the hectic house-hunting season.
Staging a home is imperative no matter what time of year the house is listed in. The facts speak: staged homes spend 90% less time on the market than those not staged. An area often overlooked during those cold, snowy months is the backyard. Curb appeal is often assumed to stop at the front door, but there is a whole other section of outdoor living space that when staged properly, can entice buyers to take a second look.
Moreover, this could be the competitive edge you’re looking for; your neighbour may very well ignore the backyard during the winter months and miss out on this opportunity to entice buyers. Afterall, while the front entrance may be all about creating that first impression, the back area is all about creating possibilities.
5 Tips For Winter Staging
Tip #1: Clean up
- Although you may have just completed cleaning up the inside of your house, the same theory of staging holds true outside. A clean and tidy deck or patio area will create the impression that your house is well maintained. Afterall, if you can’t be bothered to sweep up those dead leaves left over from autumn’s last gasp, what else are you neglecting? If there is snow, shovel it off of the deck and remember to put that shovel away in the shed or garage.
- If you are in between snow falls, rake up the leaves and pick up any garbage that might have blown into your backyard. It goes without saying, remember to pick up any pet droppings as well.
Tip #2: Declutter
- Similar to the clean up, decluttering is just as important outside even in the winter. Store any brooms, shovels or salt containers in the shed or garage.
- Remove any children’s toys or winter activity apparatus; once again the importance of staging is to appeal to a wide array of potential buyers.
- Just as you removed extraneous furniture and items from the indoor living room, it is a good idea to remove any extra furniture or empty planters and store them in the garage.
Tip #3: Stage your deck
- The goal of staging outside, even in the snow, is to evoke emotion in the buyer and awaken the desire to envision themselves living and entertaining there. Thus, the furniture layout should always enhance a focal point. Similar to the indoor living space, this can be the view or perhaps a firepit.
- As the winter weather can be harsh, any furniture placed outdoors for staging should be hardy. This can include wood, resin, or wrought iron.
- If your backyard is large, it is a good idea to create mini-conversation areas in order to showcase its size and the opportunities for entertainment. Keep in mind that you are appealing to the buyer’s sense of excitement about the possibility of a backyard oasis.
- Although for practical purposes you may keep your grill closer to the back door during the winter months, it is a great idea to place it in a specific entertainment area for staging purposes.
Tip #4: Add colour and texture
- Adding colour will create a warm, inviting atmosphere even if the deck is being viewed from the back patio door. A welcoming living space can still be created through the changing seasons, simply by altering the colours presented. For instance, during the winter months a warm colour such as a deep orange can be reminiscent of a fire burning in the hearth and thus create a feeling of warmth. Outdoor cushions are perfect for exposed areas, and for those lucky enough to have covered areas, regular cushions will add a touch of warmth, luxury and coziness.
- The addition of furry blankets and throws cannot be overdone. They lend another layer of texture, colour, and cozy luxury to intimate seating areas. In fact, this theme can be amplified by staging an intimate, cozy nook using seating, pillows, furry blankets and perhaps a firepit. To set the scene, a string of fairy lights can be wound around firewood and lit to complete the creation of the ideal seasonal charm.
- Another great way to add both colour and texture is by placing an outdoor carpet on the deck. They can be found at many major retailers and are available in a myriad of colours and patterns. Furthermore, they are extremely hardy and very economical.
- Winter greenery in potted planters can add just the right amount of life to an otherwise sparse landscape. Pops of colour can be injected with a variety of garden decorations suitable for the season.
Tip #5: Add lighting
- Just as indoor lighting creates ambiance, so too does outdoor lighting. This holds true during the long, dark winter months as well. Remember that cozy nook you created? Adding flameless candles in hurricane lamps, or hanging a string of lights above the intimate seating area, will only enhance the warm and welcoming setting.
Less homes on the market translates into less competition.
This presents advantageous opportunities for sellers, and by staging the outdoor living space, a seller can showcase the possibilities of a backyard oasis to a wide array of buyers.