There is a common misconception that buyers stop buying homes during the holiday season. As a result, they will often wait to list or re-list their home until the Spring market. Avoiding the holiday season could be costly mistake. Over decorating could also be costly. Here’s a few tips for selling the perfect home for the holidays.
1. Not all buyers celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah. Buyers that celebrate these holidays and are shopping for a home during the holiday season, are most likely serious buyers. Listing a home during the holidays could be a great opportunity.
2. December can be a best kept secret in real estate. Many homeowners decide to pull their homes off the market assuming no one is looking. This gives the homes left on the market less competition. Christmas is only a week away and we’ve received three calls from Realtors across two different states scheduling furniture pickups because their staged properties just received accepted offers. These were our most challenging homes -train tracks in the backyard challenging - that were taking a few months to sell. One of the clients said she just received multiple offers after a few months of silence. Reduced inventory at holiday time can certainly work to the benefit of the seller.
3. Christmas is a perfect opportunity to showcase the warmth and memories a home can offer to future buyers. Christmas trees evoke a sense of family and festivity. This positive sense of home can tug at the heartstring of a potential buyer. Correct placement is critical. Look for corners or spaces in a room where a tree can fit easily. If the tree blocks a key architectural feature, like a fireplace, or leaves your furniture in disarray showing that there is little space for it, it could serve as a deterrent. Avoid oversized trees that eat square footage and trees that are so tall they touch the ceiling, which could make ceilings feel shorter.
4. There is a careful balance when decorating. Less is more. Homes that require sunglasses to drive past at night, are fun to look at but not easy to sell. During the day, it’s a maze of lights distracting from the features of the home. Consider simple battery operated candles in the windows, a pretty wreath on the door, and some festive poinsettias on the porch. For those that enjoy lighting their home, white lights can be pretty when done sparingly and will set a softer tone than colored. Follow the form of the house or consider just lighting the landscape.
5. Entering your home on a holiday house tour for added publicity. We staged a home for the Chestnut Hill Holiday House Tour in 2014. We brought in furnishings that worked with the style of the home and decorated for the holiday. Though holiday house tours require designers to go a bit overboard with the decorating, the homeowner has as many as 100+ local residents touring their home. One of those residents may be in the market.
6. For those that don't enjoy decorating, consider holiday staging. A trained professional knows just how much or how little decorating your home needs for ther holiday market.