Seasonal staging is a proven concept to implant a message of “immediacy” in the buyer’s mind, encouraging an offer “before it’s too late.”
Two rules: Never let the decorations get in the way of the house itself. Always focus on the living space and keep accessories simple and understated.
Getting the Season Started
No matter what the season, take a critical look at your property. Are the driveway and walkway in good condition? Are front door, light fixtures, mailbox, gutters and shutters painted, perfect and clean? Are leaves raked? Is snow shoveled?
Place a bench or pots of flowers near the front door. Hang an autumn wreath on the door, or place a garland of pine or fir in the winter. Display a flag in July and for Memorial Day and Veterans Day. It’s perfectly acceptable to be patriotic and a little whimsical if your house is on the market.
Staging Demands Common Sense
What you want to avoid is “shouting” your beliefs, or overwhelming your visitors by overdoing holiday spirit. While your home is on the market, one or two references to any holiday at hand should be your limit. And those decorations should come down immediately after the holiday itself — the next day! Also, do not include any specific holiday themes in photographs on MLS listings or flyers.
Each season has a color palette that is appropriate, despite the interior scheme of the home. Sight changes for each season reap big benefits in buyer interest.
In the spring, for instance, go for pastels in your chosen hue when setting a breakfast table or accessorizing the den. The look should be fresh and breezy, emphasizing the promise of new growth. Spring and summer call for a light hand, both in color and in touch.
Summer should be cool and casual, with pale, natural accessories — if you live near water or a beach, a bowl of shells or sea glass, perhaps. In the heartland, a vase of prairie grass or colorful wildflowers are natural, fragrant and suggest happiness and outdoor living.
In climates where it seems reasonable, furnishing a patio as an outdoor living room, or setting a table for al fresco dining is a definite and delightful way to encourage visitors to consider the yard as additional usable space. Red is a wonderful accent, suggesting watermelon and the Fourth of July.
For fall, use leaves and turning leaf colors, along with copper and brass in your staging design, but be sure to sweep the real ones off walks and lawns. Trading the outdoor dining table for a fire-pit with surrounding chairs emphasizes the flexibility of the space.
In the winter, staged properties should feel warm and welcoming, encouraging visitors to linger and appreciate the home’s unique qualities. Employ jewel colors and rich scents, cinnamon and spiced apple, to suggest the season of family togetherness and celebration. By all means, put one holiday centerpiece on the dining table, but leave the majority of decorations packed.
For More Information
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