T’is the season! The season of daily UPS deliveries, multiple trips to the grocery store, of wrapping and packing and delivering. It’s the season of internet shopping, chaos at the mall and grinchy sales associates working double shifts. It’s staying up late, rising early, entertaining kids with a little more energy and relatives with a little more crazy. Let’s face it… as sweet and magical and lovely as the holidays are, they are also full of everyday stressors. And, if you just happen to be selling your home during this time of year, you’ve taken that level of stress into a new dimension. Don’t despair! While I don’t possess the magic of Santa, I do have a few tips that might make this process just a bit easier.
Everyone who has ever owned or sold a home has heard the old adage… depersonalize and declutter before you list your home. But, how do you do that and still preserve a bit of holiday cheer? You do have to live in your home while navigating the selling process! Good news: go ahead and decorate! Homes often look their best when decorated with white light and colorful poinsettas.
Maybe this isn’t the year to display Grandma’s collection of macramé Santas, but you can absolutely deck the halls if you remember to keep it tasteful and classy. Avoid oversized decorations that crowd the room and distract buyers, but use light and glass and candles to give rooms a soft glow.
Curb appeal is always important. Every Realtor has a story to tell about showing clients a potential home that has a lot to offer, but looks pretty rough from the outside. Often clients will refuse to even look at a home if the house looks run down or poorly cared for from the curb. Use this season and its inherent decorations to enhance your curb appeal! Cover bare trees and bushes in net lighting and hang a fresh wreath from your newly painted door. When taking marketing pictures, make sure the photographer schedules your photo session near dusk. You want enough light for the photos, but not so much that the twinkle lights are invisible. Another word about photos… if you have photos of your home in other seasons, make sure you give those to your Realtor to be used in marketing materials.
One of the best things about this time of year is walking into a home that smells of Christmas cookies and cinnamon rolls. Often, clients will light candles to provide a little aroma-therapy and we advise them not to do that. Buyers might be led to believe that your favorite candle scent is being used to cover something less alluring like pet odors or smoke. But, during the holidays, feel free to bake away. Fill your home with the scents of mulled cider and peppermint tea and don’t be afraid to leave a plate of freshly baked cookies for potential buyers!
Regardless of when you list your home for sale, I always advise my clients to enlist the services of a home staging professional. It’s amazing how little changes can have a big impact. If you’re listing your home at the holidays, finding and utilizing a stager is even more important and can tremendously reduce your stress! They’ll be able to guide you in making changes that will help lead to a quick and easy sale!
Lastly, remember this one thing… selling your home at this busy time of year adds a bit more crazy to an already crazy season. BUT… buyers who are searching for a home at this time are highly motivated to complete the transaction. Price your home reasonably, hire a trusted real estate professional and follow the tips above. I think you’ll find that selling a home at Christmas isn’t as crazy as it sounds! Happy home selling AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS!