By now we have all learned that life does not follow our plans. And, that definitely goes for home sales! We cannot always predict what will happen in life or in real estate, and if anyone tries to tell you the time is wrong…they may be WRONG.
Reduced inventory over the holidays generally means less competition. Yes, there are cons- In parts of the country where it snows, buyers may think twice about bundling up in heavy coats, boots, and gloves to trudge through snow banks to go looking at homes when they’d rather be out shopping or staying home in front of the fireplace. But! If they need to move…they need to move. I have a few buyers right now that are taking advantage of holiday paid vacations and they’re moving across the country! Because, life.
Let’s face it…some homes take more finesse to sell. If you have a hard-to-sell home with drawbacks, maybe an undesirable location, you might get shoved to the bottom of the showing list if you wait until Spring to sell your home. There might be too many other sparklier homes for sale at that time. Give your unique home a chance to rise to the top when there are fewer homes for sale over the holidays.
If You Plan on Selling Your Home During the Holidays-
Back off on the decorations. Should you put out those blue and white candles and prominently display your menorah? What about hanging a wreath on your door or showcasing a Christmas tree in front of a window? What’s overdoing it? What’s not?
But, your mother gave you that life size nativity scene! She will be devastated if your lawn is not covered in hay and plastic lambs. Sorry Ma, that’s going to be a hard NO.
People carry biases and prejudices with them. By not decorating, you are making your home feel more spacious. When buyers enter your home, you want them to imagine putting their own furniture in each room, making it theirs, and they can’t do that if your holiday decorations dominate the stage.
Too many decorations can be overwhelming and distracting. Don’t make the mistake of thinking buyers will “see past it” because they can’t.
Holiday Decorating Compromises for Headstrong (Stubborn) Sellers-
If you decide you cannot live through a holiday season without decorating your home, keep the decorations to a minimum. Don’t block or cover up important selling features such as fireplace mantels, stairs, or new windows. Consider hiring a professional to do home staging with the buyer in mind. The stagers I recommend are happy to approve a few twinkle lights and perhaps a strategically placed snow globe or two. The snow globe should be replacing the current display…not bulking it up! Keep it neutral. You should not display religious décor during home showings ANYTIME of the year, Christmas season is no different.
So what CAN you DO?!
Despite what other realtors have said, I am totally on board with white exterior lights if they are nicely done!
You can still have a tree! Just tone down the size of the tree. In place of a 10-foot tree, try decorating a table-top or four-foot version. (Hide the wrapped gifts or save the wrapping for the night before Christmas!)
Absolutely display centrepieces made from pine cones or other wintry pieces of nature.
Set a plate of cookies on the counter, next to festive paper napkins for guests.
Simmer spicy apple cider on the stove and set out Christmasy cups and serving utensils.
There are a number of ways to cheat the system– just keep it light! If you feel like your Realtor is going to hide it the second you leave…she probably is. Remember, your Realtor wants what is best for you and your home. Help me, help you-