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With more bitter weather in the future for much of the U.S., there is much real estate professionals can do to get properties ready for showings. And, no matter the season, staging a home before a sale increases the amount of an offer by 1 to 10 percent, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.

From ensuring the comfort of potential homebuyers to making sure they get inside a home safely, here are some helpful staging tips to take into consideration this winter.

Clear the walkway. Nothing is more important than the safety of your clients and of any potential homebuyers that may be looking at a particular property. Be sure to clear any walkways that lead to a home’s entrance and be generous with the amount of salt you put down on all walkways and steps. The last thing you want is for a buyer to slip and injure themselves.

Keep it toasty inside. Right before showings, encourage your sellers to crank up the heat a bit. A toasty home is all the more inviting to folks coming in from freezing temperatures. As a real estate professional, it’s your job to entice potential sellers in any way you can.

Be aware of odors. During the winter, it’s normal to bring musty smells into your home. From leaving wet boots near entrances to the pet tracking snow and mud throughout the property. Smell appeal can be just as important as curb appeal, so introduce fresh smells to a property before a showing, like cinnamon or lavender, and avoid artificial scents, if possible.

 Jameson Doris is RISMedia’s social media/blog editor. RISMedia is the residential real estate industry’s definitive source for news and information. Email Jameson your real estate news ideas at