‘Tis the season to hang stockings by the chimney, stuff over-sized trees into family rooms and play the dreidel.
However, December is also a season when interested buyers take advantage of vacation time and slower work schedules to attend showings and open houses to gauge the real estate market before the year’s end.
As homes tend to be crammed with decorations, baking and packages, and family and friends drop in without notice this time of year, the holiday season can present challenges for sellers who know the importance of keeping their listed property minimally adorned and tidy.
Good news! Selling a home over the holidays doesn’t mean that you and your family can’t celebrate the season.
Here is a “top ten” list of pointers that will help houses shine in this oft-cluttered holiday season.
1. Festival of lights – Exterior holiday lights can brighten up any house and really increase curb appeal. Less-is-more in this case! Opt for white lights instead of multi-color and/or flashing bulbs to provide a more taste-neutral glow to your home. A few strands of white icicle lights are always tasteful.
2. Fake it – Brightly colored plants and flowers are usually nowhere to be seen in Colorado this time of year, but you can “fake” your garden. Place frost-resistant potted plants, such as flowering kale or miniature trees, in the walkway and garden to brighten up your home’s exterior and give buyers a sense of the landscape potential.
3. Let it snow – Snow can look beautiful on trees, but driveways and walkways should ALWAYS be cleared as soon as the fluffy stuff falls. Don’t forget your back patio or deck and walkways around the sides of the house. Buyers should be able to move freely to all parts of the property. Keep an eye out for icicles on the roof, as they can indicate that your home has inadequate insulation.
4. Toasty and cozy – A warm home is always more inviting than one that has people
reaching for their coats. Be sure to have the heat set at a comfortable temperature for the
entire day. If possible, turn the lights on and have fireplaces and candles lit to create a cozy environment, even during daylight hours, especially for open houses.
5. Sugar and spice – To create an inviting, festive atmosphere, boil a pot of cider with
cinnamon during any open houses or showings.
6. Home sweet home – From fish, to cabbage rolls, to turkey, the holidays can be a fragrant
time of favorite holiday dishes. What appeals to you at dinner may leave an odor in your
home that not everyone will appreciate. Hold off on holiday cooking as much as
possible, especially if you know that a showing or open house is scheduled. Give
yourself permission to take this holiday off from cooking – treat yourself to a meal out at
a restaurant, or dine with family and friends!
7. A home for all seasons – Display several photos of the home’s front and back yards,
gardens, and patios in spring and summer to show potential buyers what the house looks
like when it is not buried in snow, and when there are leaves on the trees and green grass.
8. Size matters – Choose a small Christmas tree and dress it minimally with decorations. A
huge tree will make your room look smaller, and busy decorations can appear messy.
9. It’s presence, not presents – It is important to cut back on clutter when listing your
home. Wrapped presents should not be on display, for aesthetic purposes and also to
ensure that they don‟t “grow legs and walk away”.
10. Less is more – When it comes to decorating and selling a home, less is always more.
When in doubt … don’t.
Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, something else, or nothing at all, this can be a very stressful time of year, especially if your home is for sale. Keep things simple and remember that the most important things in life are family and friends. Please call your sales
associate at Colorado Landmark if you need advice or assistance during this holiday season.
Happy Holidays from all of us at Colorado Landmark, Realtors!