Just because the weather outside is cold, that doesn’t mean your open house has to feel that way. By making a few adjustments you can still have a warm and inviting open house that welcomes buyers and agents as well as increases the appeal of the property.
Create a warm oasis within the property to create a lasting impression.
Below you’ll find unique ways to accomplish this including keeping cold areas warm, modifying beverages and snacks for cold weather appeal, and turning a fireplace into a meeting and marketing place as guests enjoy the ambiance.
Create a Warm and inviting Foyer
Create a Warm and inviting Foyer... tips for hosting a cold weather open house.Click To Tweet
The foyer is often the first impression of the home, especially in cold weather showings, and there are certain things you can do to create a more welcoming atmosphere. Here are a few ways to keep it clean and presentable to show it off as well as warm, making sure your guests are comfy.
- Remove coat racks – by skipping the coat rack and instead providing hangers for a closet, you decrease congestion while showcasing a roomier entry. If it’s snowing or raining outside, this will also help prevent dripping and making a slipping hazard.
- Bring an umbrella stand – you want to avoid guests carrying them around because it will prevent them from feeling at home which will hurt the sale efforts. It will also prevent water from creating an unappealing floor with water marks.
- Place a space heater close by – as more people come and go, it will be impossible to keep the cold air out. By pointing a portable space heater towards the entry way you will create a welcoming burst of warm air so that guests are immediately more comfortable.
- Offer shoe/boot covers – Have shoe covers and cheap house slippers that people can slip on to avoid tracking water and mud throughout a clean house.
- Complimentary hand and shoe warmers at the entry – place a bowl with small warmers that guests can keep in their pockets or in their shoes to feel more comfortable walking around the home
Now that the foyer is warm and welcoming, make sure that feeling continues as your guests move on to the kitchen by having the right food and beverage options.
Modify your food and beverage choices for cold weather showings
Modify your food and beverage choices for cold weather showings... tips for hosting a cold weather open house.Click To Tweet
People want to feel a sense of comfort when they are in a home, and what better way to achieve that than a warm beverage in their hand? It is the perfect way to create that comfort in open houses so potential buyers can see themselves in a space.
In addition to bottled waters, think about having a hot coco bar for your guests to enjoy. You’ll want to remember things like:
- Do the mixing yourself beforehand to avoid spills and coco powder everywhere
- Have toppings available such as marshmallows, peppermint candy canes, and cinnamon.
- Provide lids so potential buyers and agents can take it around the house without worrying about spills
- Remember to have trash bins placed throughout the home so no one leaves cups on mantels, tables, or shelves
To keep the atmosphere warm and inviting, serve warm baked good. Make sure to stay away from any foods that will create crumbs like brownies, crackers, or crispy cookies.
By baking cookies in the house, you’ll create a homey smell (that isn’t artificial) while also providing a sweet treat that everyone can enjoy.
How to Turn the Fireplace into a Marketing and Conversation Area
Turn the Fireplace into a Marketing and Conversation Area... tips for hosting a cold weather open house.Click To Tweet
If the home has a fireplace, gas or not, make sure to have a fire going to create an inviting atmosphere. Have pamphlets and brochures on the mantel place or a table nearby for your guests to look. Your guests will gather as they want to warm up from the cold.
This will create a space for you to strikes up a conversation with the potential buyers or agents, so they have a friendly experience and you can answer questions as well as leave a lasting impression of the home.
Have some goodie bags ready near the fireplace as well. Guests can easily take these home and will be sure to remind them of the positive experience they had there. Be sure to include some extra hand warmers, the house specs sheet, as well as business cards.
Try to Avoid Holiday Décor
Try to Avoid Holiday Décor... tips for hosting a cold weather open house.Click To Tweet
If the home is occupied and you are showing around a holiday, you may want to talk to the occupants about limiting their holiday décor in order to increase appeal.
Too many decorations will alienate buyers or make it hard to see their own style in a home. If it makes sense for your target market, try to stick to season decorations instead.
As warm weather is coming to an end and the cold is approaching, open houses will need different features to succeed. By following these tips your guests will be sure to leave feeling like they can imagine themselves living in the home! Here is a final checklist to make sure you’re ready for your Winter open house:
- 3 space heaters (at least) for the foyer and other rooms around the house that may be colder than others
- 20+ coat hangers to get bulky coats and scarves out of guest’s way
- Shoe covers or house slippers to prevent guests from tracking snow, ice, or mud through the house
- A hot coco bar for guests to enjoy as they walk through the home
- Warm and crumbles baked goods
- Small trash bins around the house for easy clean up
- Lit fireplace to create a space to talk to potential buyers about their needs
- Include a door mat for people to wipe their shoes and boots to prevent tracking water and mud through the house
Daniel Huertas is the CEO of Washington Capital Partners, the largest hard money lender in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. He has helped flip, rehab, and increase the value of over 1,000 properties to date. To find out more visit them on their website.