While the holiday season is a hectic time to show and sell your house, there are distinct advantages to staging and showing your home during the holidays – you have a chance to show your home at its very best, adorned with warmth and cheer sure to charm.
Nothing is more inviting than a home brimming with greenery, twinkling lights and holiday decorations.
So as you set out to win over a holiday homebuyer during this traditionally slow time of the year, keep the following in mind as you prepare to show your house:
- Curb appeal. First impressions are important. If you live in a snowy area, make sure walkways are cleared. Or if late fall leaves are littering the ground, be sure to clear them away. Also make sure the path to the stairs is free from ice.
- A few exterior holiday lights or decorations shows pride in ownership and seasonal cheer, but keep in mind that while exterior lights are beautiful at night, they don’t add anything during the day when potential homebuyers will be looking at your home, so you don’t want to overdo it. Another thing to consider: would-be buyers may view it favorably if the homes are brimming with lights – it shows unity and neighborliness – so you’ll want to find a tasteful balance.
- Trim outdoor trees so unexpected winds don’t knock down branches that could damage your home or hurt anybody.
- Place a nice welcome holiday mat outside your front door.
- Make sure your door area is clear from bicycles, toys or parcels left by the mail carrier.
- Hang a festive wreath on your door.
- Play holiday music in the background.
- Keep the house cozy. Entering a cold house could leave a lasting chilling impression. Instead, set the thermostat at a comfortable temperature.
- A toasty fire. If you’re only stepping out while an agent is showing your house, start a fire in the fireplace. Nothing says home more than a nice cozy fire. But never leave a fire unattended.
- Your tree. This year you’ll need to think about your tree more than you usually do. For starters, if your house is on the small side, get a smaller tree. You don’t want the tree to appear to take over the entire living or family room. Likewise, you don’t want to cram too much furniture into a room just to get the tree to fit. Remove furniture if necessary.
- Keep decorations on the conservative side. Not all home shoppers may celebrate the holidays in the manner you do. You don’t want to overwhelm anybody with abundant displays of holiday cheer. You want your house to be noticed, not your decorations.
- If your house is being viewed in the evening, let your agent know which tree and other holiday lights should be turned on. And be sure the agent turns the lights off or you have a plan to be home immediately following the showing.
- Bake holiday cookies and treats often. The enticing smell will be welcome to those viewing your house.
- Be especially careful about ensuring your home security system is turned back on after agents show your house, especially if you have gifts under the tree.
- Windows. Make sure your windows are sparkling clean.
- Let the light in. Open blinds and curtains and turn on interior lights to reduce the dreary lighting that pervades in the dark winter months.
- Leave some holiday treats and hot chocolate for your guests.Finally, keep in mind that the holiday adornments should accent – not dominate – the house. You want to convey the love, comfort, and joy your family has shared in the house. If conveyed successfully, a new family will be anxious to move in and carve out their own holiday memories.
Written by Michele Dawson