As wonderful as the holiday season is, you’ll have to cut way back on seasonal decorating if your home is listed on the real estate market. You’re not selling Christmas, you’re selling a home and your listing must always look current in the photos being used to market it. The fundamentals of decorating a home to appeal to the greatest number of potential buyers still apply at this time of year.
Curb appeal is critical. This is the potential buyer’s first impression of your property. If you’ve overwhelmed them with too much “Christmas cheer” they can’t really appreciate the architecture or see your property’s natural features. If the buyer happens to have six other homes to see that day, they may very well decide to skip the showing and drive on, without even going inside.
Keep your front yard neat and tidy and free of blow-up reindeer. You’ll want to ensure that walkways are always shoveled and free of ice. Draw attention to the front door with planted urns and a modest wreath. If your decorations aren’t too Christmas oriented this will also ensure your MLS photos don’t look dated in case you’re still on the market in January.
Inside your home, Christmas trees, stockings, and greeting cards can make a room feel crowded and cluttered unless the house is especially large. Here too, less is more because you don’t want the potential buyer to be distracted by too many “props.” Each room needs a focal point, but when it’s your Christmas tree instead of the fireplace, this won’t help potential buyers imagine what it will be like living there year round.
If your goal is to sell your home as soon as possible, some of your usual holiday traditions may have to take a back seat this year. While there may be fewer potential buyers actively looking in December and January than in the spring, serious buyers are out there searching no matter the season!
When your home is always showing-ready and you allow appointments at this time of year, you’ll be at a distinct advantage over your competition. While the other home sellers in your neighborhood may be focused on the holidays, think how sweet it will be to celebrate the new year with a SOLD sign on your front lawn!
Internationally recognized home staging expert Debra Gould is President of Six Elements Inc. and creator of the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program. An entrepreneur for almost 25 years and author of several guides, Debra has staged millions of dollars worth of real estate and uses her expertise to train others worldwide.