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How to Host an Open House in the Fall and Winter

The majority of homes go on the market in the spring and summer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t buck the trend. There are some perks that come with selling in the fall or winter instead, most notably that there is less competition from other houses in the area.

If you’re ready to sell and don’t want to wait until the spring, don’t worry. Toledo’s The Degnan Group at Key Realty has over 150 years of real estate experience and we’re here to share our expertise with you. Use these tips from our professionals to host an amazing open house in the fall or winter this year!

1. Maximize Natural Light

The most critical aspect of hosting a successful open house in the fall or winter is maximizing the natural light. Early sunsets mean many visitors will be coming by after dark. Houses look better in the sunshine, but you can do the next best thing and take the time to infuse your home with quality lighting.


Replace all of your bulbs with new energy-saving LED lights. Clean and dust your lampshades and buy new lamps to fill any corner of the home that’s neglected. Don’t forget about the exterior either. Add outdoor lighting to make your home look welcoming and turn everything on before the first buyer arrives. In the winter, you can also hang some simple holiday lights on your porch or in the bushes and put faux candles in the windows.

2. Increase Your Curb Appeal

Pressure wash everything. Get a one-day rental from a home improvement store in your area and put it to work on your driveway, front porch, back deck, swings, stools, tables, steps, vinyl siding… the list goes on. Most people do this during spring cleaning so in the winter your fresh house will certainly stand out from the neighbors.

You can also add new mulch your flower beds, put up seasonal decor, wash your windows (and turn on the lights in every room to give your home an inviting glow to outsiders), decorate your porch with cozy throws and pillows, rake your lawn, blow the leaves, and always clear any ice or snow from your driveway and walkway before you host an open house in the fall or winter.

3. Clean Your House

No matter what season you’re hosting an open house, cleaning it thoroughly beforehand is key. Start with a simple decluttering mission and begin packing as you go. Anything that you and your family don’t need for the season can be organized, boxed up and put away.

You should also pack up personal mementos and photos, to create a clean slate for the buyer when they visit and help them imagine their family and their future in the house. Next, it’s time to deep clean your appliances, dust and wipe down the hard to reach places inside cabinets and drawers, mop the floors and more.

If any home maintenance needs to be done, like window replacements or roofing repairs, now is the time to tackle those tasks. Any major project you complete is a potential selling point, so remember to share these updates with the buyers as well.

4. Don’t Forget to Focus on the Details

Keep in mind that the little things can go a long way. Make sure your home is a comfortable temperature when you host an open house in the fall or winter. If it’s too cold or too hot, the buyers likely won’t stick around for long.

Additionally, have storage space ready for coats and boots, bake some fresh cookies or have hot chocolate on hand to serve, light a fire in the fireplace and create flyers to pass out. Flyers will help keep your home in the forefront of the buyers’ minds and you can share pictures of your house in the spring or summer on them too. Finally, consider hiring a professional staging company to make your home look its best and give you an edge over the competition.

Use These Tips for a Successful Open House in the Fall or Winter

Hosting an open house in the fall or winter doesn’t automatically mean you’ll have trouble selling the home. In fact, with less competition on the market, you may even come out ahead… if you follow these tips from The Degnan Group.

Most importantly, you must maximize natural light to make your house cozy and inviting even after the sun goes down. Then, spend some time outside to improve the curb appeal and give a positive first impression to every buyer. Next, take your home through a deep clean and finally, focus on the details to give your house an edge over the others. Keep this sage advice from the professionals in mind, and you can successfully host an open house in any season!

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