To sell or not to sell during the holidays?
That is the million dollar question. Some Realtors like Elizabeth Weintrub advise "it's hogwash", while others encourage Sellers to list during the holidays. Regardless the answer, should you decide to sell your home during the holidays, thematic decorating can make or break or break a holiday selling game plan.
When selling a home during the holidays, one might assume a very motivated and willing to do Seller would do what it takes to sell their home. Any real estate professional will tell you that in order to sell you need a “ready, willing, and able Buyer”. But often times (especially holiday season) a home remains listed or goes on the market without establishing that they have a “ready, willing, and able SELLER.”There is no greater home selling crime than taking valuable family time away from the Buyer, you the Seller, and your hard-working Real Estate Agent during the holidays (or anytime really) to show your home without the full intention to sell.
Understanding our own motivation to sell can help prepare us in advance for feelings or circumstances that may arise, like the holidays, allowing us to move through the selling process with a greater sense of control. Once the decision to sell has been made, every household member should be on board with all of the; let’s face it, inconveniences of selling. If you do not have buy-in from everyone in the house, then you may find yourself getting some reluctance from household members when it comes to holiday decorating such as:
“Christmas won’t be Christmas without our stuff”
“How will we fit all of the family in the house”
“What about the kids” etc etc etc.
If you have skipped one of most important steps in creating a positive selling experience which is to bring everyone involved in the move together and have a discussion about moving- then you are in for a long winter.
“Keep It Simple Santa”
The goal of home staging is to bring out the features of the home; the windows, the fireplace detail, the ease and functionality of the floor plan, DOWN playing the personality of the Seller and playing UP the personality of the house. When you are selling your home and asking yourself whether or not to decorate for the holidays, it really comes down to a matter of priorities. Remember your goal:
“SELL THE HOUSE!”
Holiday decorating could be an indication to Buyers of just how motivated you are to sell. If your house is decorated to the rafters with billowing holiday décor, it may be clear that the Seller intends to be there through Dec 31. With that said, no one wants to be moving on Thanksgiving day so let’s set a realistic goal of finding a nice balance between celebrating life’s blessings and moving on to the next adventure.
Staging a successful holiday sale can be accomplished by following 10 simple holiday home staging rules:
- Furniture arrangement should reflect how the Buyer will use the room on a day to day basis. Moving furniture to accommodate holiday décor is not a good selling tactic.
- It’s best to keep holiday decorating to a winter theme vs. religious themes. Remember, the goal is to appeal to a large audience. Keep the themed towels and pillows packed up for next year.
- Use natural accents such as winter scented candles, pine cones, garland, and winter plants/flowers for display on table tops and counters.
- Outdoor areas should be decorated with a “less is more” attitude. Keep it to well maintained window boxes, a simple garland wreath, and NO lawn ornaments. (Think of where you’ll put that blow up Santa next year)
- Limit holiday reds and greens and use white as your “go-to” color for holiday decorating. Natural garland, raw bark, natural wood grains, warm winter whites and beige will absolutely make your home shine like the North Star. (Get fabulous holiday white decorating ideas from the Willow Décor Blog)
- Keep your holiday cards/photos organized in a special album this year instead of hanging from doorways and mantels. No one appreciates your friends and family like you do but they will appreciate that crown molding when making an offer. J
- Keep wrapped presents stored in a closet or organized in a designated area. Presents everywhere can create security concerns in addition to cluttering up some valuable square footage in the room.
- Keep those winter boots and shoes in the closet. A heaping pile of shoes next to the door can draw attention to a lack of storage space. Pack any shoes or summer clothing up and get it out of the way.
- Kids take cues from you. Keep the positive attitude and holiday spirit high by doing fun activities together like driving around looking at lights, renting holiday movies, ice skating, window shopping, making a photo album…etc. Maybe this is the year to volunteer at school, church, or in your community? They may even need to borrow all of your extra decorations!
- Give your Professional Home Stager a call for quick holiday styling help. For the cost of what you likely would have spent on new holiday décor, you’ll be making an investment in shorter selling time and closer to a reason to celebrate that New Year!
Selling during the holidays can be a real challenge however; with these simple strategies you will be putting your best holiday foot forward, setting the stage for a successful sale. If your holiday decorating takes priority over selling your home, talk to your Real Estate Agent about your selling options.