The holidays seem to approach faster every year, and prospective home buyer’s thoughts turn to shopping, entertaining, children's pageants, decorating the house and charity work - not looking for their next home, right? Not so fast!
December calendars do fill up quickly with seasonal obligations, and people who are also trying to sell their home are under extra pressure to maintain their home like a "Martha Stewart" TV special, so it’s understandable why they might be tempted to take their home off the market during the holidays.
While the holiday season could be a hectic time to show and sell your house, a properly Staged home has some distinct advantages during the holidays – a unique opportunity to showcase the home at its very best - decked out with extra sparkle and warmth.
Nothing will appeal more to a buyer’s emotions and senses than a home Staged with fresh greenery, magical white lights and a few carefully chosen festive decorations.
To charm holiday homebuyers during what could otherwise be a slow time for real estate, keep in mind these tips when Staging to sell during the holidays;
- Curb appeal. At any time of the year, first impressions are everything when selling a home! Place a welcoming holiday doormat outside your front door and hang a festive wreath (preferably real greens for the fresh scent) on your door.
- Keep decorations and music non-denominational - not all buyers may celebrate the holidays the same way you do.
- While exterior festive white lights are beautiful at night, their wires and extension cords don’t add anything during the day, so don't hang them from every surface.
- Make sure walkways and stairs are cleared and de-iced, the door area is clear of children’s toys and snow shovels.
- Set the thermostat at a comfortable temperature (72F) to keep the house cozy, but not too hot, or too chilly.
- If the home has a fireplace, light it for every showing! Nothing else will appeal more to buyer’s emotions during the holidays (but never leave a fire or candles unattended).
- Sellers need to consider a smaller tree if they’re Staging to sell – one won’t take over the room, and consider removing excess furniture.
- Leave out holiday cookies and apple cider or hot chocolate warming in a slow cooker to appeal to buyer’s senses.
- Make sure your windows are sparkling clean and open blinds and curtains to maximize light.
- Ensure the home security system is turned back on after a showing, especially if you have gifts under the tree, or consider wrapping empty boxes for the tree.
- Finally, in Staging, less is always more. We want the features of the house to be noticed, not the decorations.
During the holidays, a house should be Staged to convey the love, comfort, and joy shared in the house, and if done successfully, a new family will be anxious to move in and create their own holiday memories.