The holiday season is jam packed with parties, shopping, cooking, gift-giving and obligations. You may think this season to be the worst time of the year to buy or sell a home but hold that thought. You’d be surprised that the truth is that it’s a great time of year to attract buyers and sellers who are serious and committed to the process. In an especially tight housing market, buyers will often kick their home shopping into high gear and take advantage of the reduced competition amongst other buyers.
Once you’ve decided to sell, you’ll likely need to do some reorganizing, cleaning and staging to set your home off in the very best light. Holiday decor can be beautiful, yet also highly personal, so it’s necessary to keep things neutral and allow for room for the buyer to envision their own holiday gatherings (without tripping over the 35 snowmen on your front stoop).
Here are a few tips on staging during the holiday season:
Stage first. Talk to your REALTOR® about how best to stage your home. Removing clutter and personal effects is a start but take a long look at your furnishings and artwork to ensure your home shows at its very best. Take extra furniture to storage (don’t store in your garage - buyers will see it there and wonder why it’s not in the house) and keep clear sight lines and pathways for an open and airy feeling.
Decorate with restraint. Having a Christmas tree or a menorah on display is fine, as long as it doesn’t take over the entire room. Small, tasteful decorations sprinkled throughout the house give the buyer a sense of what they could/would do during the holidays if they lived there.
Keep it cozy. Subtle touches that create a holiday vibe work wonders. A bowl of cinnamon-scented pinecones in the center of your table. A wreath hung over the fireplace gives a sense of warmth and a wonderful evergreen smell to complete the festive feeling.
Don’t lose your palette. Be sure your holiday decor compliments your current home’s look and feel. If your living room is painted a beautiful blue, perhaps skipping the red garland and go with a more winter wonderland feel with silver bells and snowflakes. If your living room is gray or taupe, going with some cranberry garland or earth-toned trimmings will work nicely.
Don’t forget the outdoors. Keep away from large blow-up displays or lights that pulse to the beat of Jingle Bells. Stick with simple lights and a small display on your porch this year.
At the end of the day, you want to show your home off in its best light. That means allowing space for the buyer to see the walls and floor without dodging huge holiday displays. Let this holiday season be your perfect season for buying or selling your next home.