Although winters can be chilly where you live, the housing market is hot just about everywhere in the US now. If you plan to sell this winter, that's good news. 

There will be competition, but you can maximize your selling potential by following my favorite wintertime selling tips. 

Your timing is good

I've already blogged about the advantages of listing a home for sale in winter -- the seriousness of buyers, the quick sale, the seasonal goodwill, and even the seasonal climate for some buyers. With more people able to work from home, buyers who are vacationing in your area may decide to relocate, or to invest in a second home. Be ready for them!

Stage your home to highlight the wintertime delights of your particular locale. Are there winter sports facilities or annual festivals that you can brag about? 

Most likely you won't actually meet any potential buyers, but you can replace all your family photos with photos of what you want people touring your home to know about winter activities around your neck of the woods. Maybe you have a photo of your home's exterior after a picturesque snowfall, or of the local ice hockey team. You can either leave a photo album open on a coffee table or counter, or you can frame prints and hang them in a neat, grid pattern on a wall. 

Even small towns have holiday home tours, parades, tree lighting ceremonies, concerts, firework displays, outdoor decoration competitions, and religious celebrations. Include photos or brochures of these things in your staging. Some historic towns or tourist destinations publish hardcover books about the area's history. I've seen books l like this when I lived in Asheville about the Biltmore Estate, and when I've visited places like Williamsburg, Charleston, Boston, and Napa Valley, so look for coffee table books like this about what's special in your area. It will be especially appealing to buyers from other parts of the country. If your Realtor cooperates, make some of these local amenities part of your online images.  

Make it easy for out-of-town home buyers to learn
about how your town celebrates the holidays.
Photo: South Florida Sun Sentinel 

A greenery wreath like this will still look terrific in January
 and beyond. I show you exactly how to make it in this tutorial.


Stage for the season

When preparing a home for sale, I always stress the importance of staying with the seasons. Doing so demonstrates to buyers how much you enjoy and care for your home. By "staying with the seasons" I mean, for example, that you stage your patio in summer to feature it as a place to entertain, and stage your fireplace in winter to make it the focal point of the room. 

For staging this winter, make sure signs of summer are gone -- the beach toys and lawn equipment. Make your home look cozy by adding layers and textures that say, "Relax in your private retreat!" Bring on the toss pillows made of velvets and plaids, and the throws of knobby knits and velours. Draw chairs and loveseats closer to create intimate seating arrangements. Fold a thick blanket or quilt at the foot of the bed.    

Does your interior have great lighting so all your rooms look big and bright? Prior to showings, turn on all your overhead lights, floor lamps, wall sconces, and table lamps. It will feel more welcoming, cleaner, and safer. I've blogged about other ways to stage smart for the winter season

It's important that your home on the market have 
only pleasant, natural aromas. I show you
how to make these citrus pomanders here.  

Check your infrastructure 

Part of that whole coziness thing is the indoor temperature of your home. People touring your interior, looking for their next home, will be alert to any red flags with a heating system, especially in winter when they are more aware of home heating -- how efficient it is, what it might cost them monthly, how old the system is, how noisy it is, and even how it smells. 

Holiday expenses are bound to take a bite of your income. So, if your home needs some tweaking, have a budget for any remodeling or repairs, and do your best to stick to that budget. Spend money where it matters, not on an upscale bathroom remodel or an addition on your master bedroom. Better ways to spend a budget will be improved landscaping, minor bath or kitchen upgrades, or replacement windows. 

Christmas decor or not?

Who doesn't love to see neighborhoods come alive in the dark of December evenings? Prospective home buyers commonly cruise neighborhoods after dark when looking for the perfect neighborhood. You don't want your home to be where the Grinch lives if everyone on your street goes all out, but you can still keep it simple. I've blogged about how to make your home's exterior look festive in winter. 

Every year, over 50,000 fires are caused by electrical issues that result in injuries and property damage. So, don't string a never-ending network of extension cords together. You can go here to see how many strings of lights you can safely connect, depending on your home's circuits and whether you use incandescents or LEDs. Tip: LEDs will let you have more lights with less energy. 

Avoid inflatable decorations that look pathetic during the day. And be sure all that seasonal decorations get packed away as soon as the celebrations wind up in January.  

Net lights like these are easy to use, look great, and are
simple to store off-season. Photo: ChrristmasLightsEtc

Get the look, get the book

If you are selling with a plan to buy another home, remember that the buyers you deal with when you are the purchaser are pricing their home to maximize their equity, just the way you are. So, the more money you can pull out of your present home, the better the chance that you'll find a home you love just as much as the one you sell, if not more.

As an informed DIY home stager, you're more likely to be aware of the way home staging can affect your emotions. That means you can be a smart homebuyer and base your decision on hard facts instead of sentimental decisions about decor or other things that do not convey with the property. 

For additional inspo and tutorials for the coming holiday season, visit my Pinterest Board for Christmas Staging. You'll see over 100 pins perfect for home stagers like you. 

The easiest way to get savvy about DIY home staging is to download my 155-page pdf, DIY Home Staging Tips to Sell Your Home Fast and For Top Dollar. It will make you a better seller and a better buyer. Don't wait any longer to make more money when you sell and save more money when you buy.