So it’s the holidays. While for many of us this is a time of great cheer and fond memories, it can also be an incredibly stressful time (here’s a secret: it’s stressful for everyone!). Now add the fact that you’re selling your house during this time and your stress meter is probably going to go through the roof!
The holiday season, in most of the country, is widely believed to be a bad time to have a house on the market. In South Florida that doesn’t hold as true as it may for the north east (especially if there’s snow on the ground). Things do tend to slow down from Thanksgiving to December but there’s good news too: Buyers who are looking during the holiday season tend to be very serious about buying a home. If you’re priced appropriately, you could be getting a contract on your house for Christmas!
Here are some tips to make sure that you balance the holiday spirit with selling your home in as responsible manner as you can.
Decorate, But be Tasteful and Careful
Feel free to decorate your home as you see fit to enhance your family’s enjoyment of the season; HOWEVER, do keep in mind that you are selling your home. You want to maximize the ability for buyers to make an emotional attachment to your house. A well decorated home can really hit the right chords on someone‘s heart strings, but over-doing it can have the opposite effect. When a buyer walks in a cozy, decorated home it’s a perfect atmosphere. But if they just had to wrestle a 10 foot inflated Santa Claus to get through the front door, it’s not the best thing to have happen.
Sure, we all laugh at Clark Griswold crashing off his roof into the bushes in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation but take a serious lesson from it. Make sure that whatever you do, you’re careful first. It won’t do anyone any good to spend the holidays with broken bones or worse.
And if you’re walking on your roof at any time, make sure to be careful on the tiles. Don’t crack them!
Pay Attention to Curb Appeal
You have probably heard about curb appeal a thousand times by now, but there’s a reason: it’s crucially important. We cannot stress enough how essential a good first impression of your house is to potential buyers. In fact, most buyers make a subconscious judgement on your house before they even step foot in it. Make sure that if you have a limited budget for holiday decorations that you pay attention to those that will make the outside of your house most appealing.
It’s also a strong possibility that buyers will be coming in the daylight to see your house, so an amazing light display won’t have the biggest impact on curb appeal. Instead, focus on inviting decorations like wreaths and great holiday landscaping.
Avoid Clutter and Keep it Clean
We’re willing to bet that you’re going to be dragging your decorations out of closets, crawl spaces and attics. That may make space in those areas (which is good for buyers to see), but that means what was buried away is now out in the main living areas of the house. Just remember to be tasteful and avoid clutter.
We went into a house once that was truly set up like an ode to everything Christmas. The house had been turned into the inside of a snow globe and there were thousands of statues and other chachkies on every surface of that house. It was almost too difficult to walk in. That’s obviously an example of going too far, but make sure that you don’t do it! You want people to be able to see your house and imagine what it will be like to live in it. Decorate, but keep it simple. Overdoing it will take away from the charm of your home and buyers won’t be able to imagine what it will look like without all the clutter.
And as always, make sure the house is clean!
Focus on Using Scents Inside
For your curb appeal, the eyes do all the observing; inside your house, let the nose take over. Smell has been proven to be the strongest sense associated with memory. If you are able to make the inside of your home smell like the holidays (fresh baked cookies, Christmas Trees, etc.), do it. You want a buyer to be instantly transported back to their fond memories of Christmas past. This is key, especially if they have children of their own and are a looking for a home where they can provide them with the same good memories while they’re growing up.
It is completely possible to enjoy the holidays while selling your home. Don’t forget, buyers who are looking for their future home during this time are some of the most serious buyers you will encounter. Make your home stand out amongst the rest by creating a warm, inviting atmosphere for them. It will help sell your home during this magical time!