After the clocks go back and the nights start earlier, viewings at your home happen in a whole new light.
Most buyers will come for their first look in the evening on their way home from work, so instead of letting the sunshine in to make your rooms feel bright, autumn and winter are all about turning up the cosy.
It might surprise you, but longer evenings are one of the advantages of selling at this time of year. Buyers get to feel just how snug your home is after dark – something they rarely experience if they’re looking in spring or summer.
With that in mind, this week’s blog is all about turning shivery cold and bleak into snuggly warm and chic.
From irresistible first impressions to captivating interiors and night-time garden magic, you’ll find all you need to set the stage for perfect evening viewings.
THE FIRST SENSE OF ARRIVAL
The outside of your home is often where buyers linger the most, from meeting your agent as they arrive to looking back up the path when they leave. Get them excited about stepping inside with our handy checklist:
- Scrutinise your windows and front door for any paintwork that needs a brush-up.
- Have a porch lamp and hall light timed to come on at dusk, and ensure that any paths and driveways are lit (solar-powered stake lights still work in the darker months).
- Clear paths of slippery moss and any obstructions that people may not see when it’s dark.
- Always have some plant life by the front door – you can get pre-planted pots and baskets of blooming winter flowers at any garden centre.
- Ensure your agent has a for sale sign outside to let viewers know they’re in the right place, especially if your door number isn’t clear from the road or your home has a name.
You’ve only got one shot at a first impression when buyers arrive at your home, so it’s really worth investing in making that moment count.
THE FEELING OF COMING HOME
Everyone’s glad to get home when it’s chilly and cold, and evening viewings are all about giving your buyers the same heartwarming sensation you feel when you step inside your front door. For a successful start to every viewing, make sure you’ve covered these three essential elements:
- Consciously or unconsciously, we all breathe in to smell the air when we walk into someone’s home. To create an aromatic heaven, update any reed diffusers or candles to natural scents of autumn and winter, like cedar, spruce and pine.
- Although we’re all mindful of rising energy costs, your home should ooze a welcoming warmth to give your buyers an enjoyable viewing experience – go for a minimum of 19°C throughout.
- Make your viewers feel right at home by leaving space on your hooks to hang their coats, and a spot for shoes in case they’re stepping out of the rain.
Many buyers make up their minds about a property before they’ve seen it all, and some within seconds of stepping inside. Once they’ve made that choice, it can be tough to turn it around, so it’s a wise move to capture their hearts at the start.
THE SEDUCTIVE POWER OF LIGHT
We hardly ever turn a light switch on during summer viewings, but lighting truly comes into its own during autumn and winter. The way your home is lit can transform how it feels, and even a quick change to softer-tone bulbs can elevate any room.
- Lamps are much cosier than overhead lights, so have them on a timer for when it gets dark to give your viewers a warm welcome to each room.
- Instruct your agent thoroughly on any specialist lighting to avoid them fumbling around in the dark or making it look complicated.
- Firelight has a unique and unmistakable quality, so if you have an open fireplace and you’ll be home before the viewing, get it crackling in time for when your viewers arrive.
- Talk to your estate agent about twilight photography to give your online listing an eye-catching and memorable injection of evening magic.
Finally, keep all the curtains open to show off your windows and extend the view beyond your rooms into the dusk or moonlight.
THE WARM TASTE OF TOASTINESS
Every room in your home can be a cosy haven for evening viewings, whether you use it every day or only occasionally. Try the following tips for upping the snuggle factor wherever your viewers roam:
- Layer up on textiles like cushions, blankets and throws on armchairs, sofas and beds.
- Add rugs to bare floors for warmer acoustics and atmosphere.
- Display winter root vegetables like pumpkins and squashes on the kitchen counter.
- Swap out threadbare towels and bathmats for fluffy, plush, soft replacements.
- Give your agent access to your smart speakers for a background of warm and sultry music.
- Give cold and empty corners an instant lift with plants in stylish pots.
As a final tip, put your Christmas decorations up as late as possible. If you can’t hold off entirely, start small with candle bridges in windows and cute Danish Nisse figures, then go full-on over the festive break when viewings tend to pause.
THE MAGIC OF NIGHT GARDENS
Gardens and balconies can get left in the dark on autumn and winter nights, but they’re one of the most valuable assets of any home. Fortunately, you don’t need bright blue skies, glistening grass or summer sunshine to create a glorious space that buyers highly prize.
- Use lighting to add some evening sparkle, from bulb chains strung overhead, to solar-powered lanterns and stakes, to permanent fittings with soft-tone bulbs.
- If your garden furniture is in a sheltered spot, leave it on show and dressed with weatherproof blankets and cushions to create a cosy and comfortable room outdoors.
- Rake or sweep any fallen leaves once a week to keep your decking or pavers visible.
- Keep your garden or balcony in bloom with colourful flowers for autumn and winter colour like camellias, pansies and hellebores.
If your garden or balcony is an absolute summer stunner, leave some photos on a table or pinned to the fridge so your viewers can see how wonderful it looks.
What’s your next step?
Staging your home for perfect evening viewings helps you capture the hearts of buyers when they step inside from the cold and dark, so they can’t wait to come back when it’s light.
You’ll find even more ideas for giving every corner of your home a magic moment in my previous blog. Or, for a friendly chat and expert advice on setting your home up to sell, call me on 01384 958811 or email me at email@example.com– I’d love to help you move.