Winter home staging ideas

One of the concerns for home sellers when leaving their home on the market over the winter is the lack of natural light in their Okanagan homes due to the constant inversion.

There are, however, easy fixes for these winter time home staging blues.

Winter Home Staging Tip No. 1

Colour Accents: Brighten your room from the inside with colour. A quick and easy idea is to add some cut flowers to your living space or some new bright and cheery throw pillows.

It doesn’t have to be spring to enjoy some flowers and some fun colours inside.

Winter Home Staging Tip No. 2

Colour Your Walls: Whether it be an accent wall in your main living area, or a smaller room that needs a punch, adding a brighter colour will be a great addition to your home in any season.

Painting is an inexpensive do-it-yourself activity that can make a huge difference to the overall feel of your home.

Winter Home Staging Tip No. 3

Remove your screens: Getting rid of the mesh behind your windows brings in a much larger amount of natural light.

Winter Home Staging Tip No. 4

Area Rugs: If you have area rugs over your hardwood floors, a quick fix is to remove those rugs in rooms where light is at a minimum. This will help the light that does come in reflect off the hardwood flooring and onto your walls.

Winter Home Staging Tip No. 5

Light Bulbs: Beef up any dim light bulbs to a higher wattage. This may be the perfect time to switch to LEDs that come in bright colours than incandescent bulbs.

The difference between warm white, a cool white and a daylight bulb is amazing. Try a few and see what works best for the different rooms in your home that need a boost.

Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean it has to be dreary inside as well as out. Take advantage of trying a few of these tips for your home staging whether your home is on the market or not and brighten up your day.


4 reasons to buy in the fall

Just as many sellers think that spring is the best time to sell a home in the Okanagan, often buyers feel that spring is the best time to buy.

However, there are many great reasons to consider a purchase in autumn instead.

Higher Seller Motivation

Some sellers keep their listings active in the fall and winter because of a motivating factor behind this decision.

They may need to sell prior to year end or a certain date due to a job transfer, to move to a home they have already purchased, or any number of other reasons.

This can be a huge benefit to you if you are able to find these homes with the motivated Sellers. Sellers are likely to have less showings at this time of year and some may be willing to negotiate more on an incoming offer.

Less Competition but More Deals

Often sellers are encouraged to take their home off the market for the winter months, or they choose to do so as they don’t wish to risk having to move in the winter. Although this means fewer homes for you to view and to choose from, it usually means better pricing in some areas and price ranges as year end nears.

Year End Benefits

For you as a buyer, the best deals on appliances, electronics, furnishings, etc. are usually found at year end. If you move into your new home prior to the holiday season you have a great opportunity to capitalize on all these year end benefits.

Plus your first mortgage payment likely won’t be due until the New Year, therefore Christmas can be a true celebration in your new home.

Lock in Your Interest Rate

Interest rates are on the rise. The only way to be certain of the interest rate and mortgage payment you will be paying on your new home is to activate your pre-approval and purchase a home before these rates rise any further.

Our best advice is once you make the decision to buy, discuss your decision with your realtor and they will be able to provide their best professional advice on timing.

In our opinion, there are many advantages to buying in the off season which may result in an even better deal than one may experience in the spring.

3 reasons to sell in the fall

Although many home sellers think spring is the best time to sell a home in the Okanagan (or anywhere for that matter), there are great reasons to consider a sale in autumn instead.

Reason No. 1 — Lower Inventory:

Spring may have higher demand, however more demand at that time is always accompanied by much more competition as seemingly everyone and their doghouse throw their hats in the ring when the sun starts to shine.

Less competition in the market could mean a better offer for you, especially if your home has some issues. When there are fewer homes to choose from, your home has a greater chance to shine.

Reason No. 2 — Buyers are Motivated:

Usually when buyers are shopping for a home prior to yearend, those buyers have a strong reason for doing so.

There are many reasons this could arise such as wanting to get settled before the holidays, move before the snow flies, their home sold in another market or a possibly a job transfer. 

These are strong reasons and make for very motivated buyers. 

Reason No. 3 — Decision Making Time:

Many buyers who viewed homes in the summer during their vacation don’t make their final decision until they return home to get their ducks in a row.

Once those ducks are where they should be, it becomes decision-making time. If your home is on the market when that decision is being made, your home may be under consideration.

If not, then another will be chosen instead.

Our best advice is once you make the decision to sell, discuss your decision with your realtor and they will be able to provide their best professional advice on timing.

In  our opinion, there are many advantages to selling in the off season which may result in an even higher offer than one may experience in the Spring.


Keeping cool in the OK heat

People who move to the Okanagan often wish they would have bought a home with air conditioning, which is convenient and refreshing, but can be costly over time.

If you chose to purchase a home without AC and don’t have the budget to add a system at this time, there are numerous other ways you can cool your home down in the Okanagan summers:

Fans: Putting a fan near a window air conditioner will help with distributing the air over a much larger area than can be reached by the window unit itself. 

More fans: Other portable fans can also work well and are easily placed around your home for extra air circulation. Ceiling fans are also an inexpensive and effective way of moving more air around the home during the day and night, helping the home feel several degrees cooler. Make sure your fan is set to blow the air down into the room.

Close the curtains: Strategically closing the window coverings on the south and west sides of the home all day will definitely help keep the heat out, especially if your blinds or curtains are a reflective “white” on the exterior.

Appliances: Using the barbecue or microwave versus the stove/oven will help keep excess heat out of the home during meal times and beyond. Running the dishwasher at night and setting it for non-heated drying also helps. Be sure to wash full loads to save energy.

Turn off the lights: Turn off any unnecessary lights everywhere in the house. Use power strips for computers, televisions, etc. and switch them off when those items aren’t being used.

These simple ideas will help homeowners stay cool and comfortable all summer long in the Okanagan while saving money and preventing wasted energy.

More Just Add Salt! articles

About the Author

Lisa Salt is a Vernon born Realtor® who, along with her husband Gord Fowler from Calgary, lead one of the most successful and dynamic real estate teams in the North Okanagan. 

An international clay target shooting champion, Lisa brought the attributes of hard work and diligent focus to the real estate industry to create the success she and her team have today. 

To experience the local knowledge and expertise that only someone born and raised in the Okanagan can offer, call Lisa today and 'Just Add Salt'.

Website link:   http://www.saltfowler.com

Contact e-mail address:  [email protected]


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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