No one wants to have their home on the market during the holidays. Most buyers and sellers are preoccupied, traveling, and celebrating with family and friends, and few people embrace the prospect of moving during the cold winter months. However, selling your house during the holidays is most definitely possible! While there may not be as many people coming to see your house, the people who are coming are serious. All the more reason to make sure your house shows well.
As a licensed Real Estate broker and an ASP, accredited staging professional, I regularly hear, “people will just have to understand that we need to live here while we’re selling.” The truth is, your friends might, but potential buyers who come to see your house are coming to see a product for sale. They will be comparing your house to the others they view. You need to show them why they want YOUR house. You can do that with proper pricing and presentation. Here are a couple of practical tips to help during the holidays.
Deck the halls after your MLS photos.
Yes, that’s right. MLS photos with holiday decorations are going to time-stamp your house. If your house is on the market come January, for instance, do you want it so show your Christmas tree? Agents hire professional photographers to market your house and will most likely not have it in the budget to retake photos after the holidays.
Don’t let holiday decorations outshine your home.
Your goal as seller is to highlight the selling features of your home. Holiday decorations not only appear “busy” in photos, but they will divert attention from the great features that will appeal to buyers. Stockings and mantle greenery will hide the beautiful trim around your fireplace and Christmas trees take up lots of space, often overpowering a room and making it feel smaller. And, while it may give potential buyers ideas of where to put their Christmas tree should they buy your house, they may have difficulty picturing how to arrange their furniture for the rest of the year.
With that in mind, even after MLS photos, keep holiday decorations simple and to a minimum. The up side is that most of your decorations will be pre-packed for your move! No one is truly objective when it comes to their own house so it’s always a good idea to work with a professional Stager. While you may have good decorating sense, your Stagers’s expertise IS all about visual marketing.
The sweet smell of home.
Not everyone loves the smell of pumpkin spice, pine, and candy cane during the holidays. So keep those fancy candles and air fresheners in the closet. However, a house should smell welcoming, and instill a sense of comfort. Studies have shown the a light vanilla scent is pleasing to most people. It gives them a feeling of warmth, calm, and cleanliness. But don’t over do it. Too much of a good thing can be bad. A lightly scented, natural smelling vanilla air freshener can go a long way and perkup your buyer’s senses.