While the holidays will be just a memory and an extra bag of garbage for pick-up in a couple of weeks, these weeks could be crucial for those who are actively listing and showing their houses. Buyers who are braving the elements and interrupting their holiday commitments to view houses are serious about finding their next home. Be sure your house is show-ready and tastefully decorated.
Maureen gave some great advice in her earlier post Selling Your Oakland County Home During The Holidays. This home stager would like to expand on her words of wisdom and offer some guidelines to those who have their properties on the market during this festive time of year.
- Think “monotone”. Think “minimalistic”. Think “display tree at Macy’s”.
Warm, inviting and carefully-planned will appeal to more buyers than, say, Clark Griswold’s idea of tasteful decor. We all love Clark’s enthusiasm for the holidays and his family’s unique style, but save the popcorn garland and children’s framed photo ornaments for next year!
- While we’re talking about Clark, I think we can all agree that his outdoor lighting display is legendary. It is also a lesson in what NOT to do while your house is on the market. Sorry Clark! A few strands of single-color lights framing the entrance and a wreath on the front door will suffice.
- A small assortment of wrapped gifts under the tree is a lovely touch. Shredded wrapping paper, colorful plastic toys and empty boxes … not so much. Clean up after the celebration!
- The scent of freshly-baked cookies and a plate of treats offered to visitors is always a good thing. Fruitcake, on the other hand, never gives a good impression. Sorry Grandma!
- If your Pointsettia is past it’s prime, pitch it.
- The standard staging rule of “no religious items” applies to the holidays as well. Whatever symbolizes your particular holiday (The Nativity, The Star of David, menorahs, kineras, etc.) should be kept to a minimum or even stored out-of-sight for showings. While Santa and his reindeer are more widely accepted, you should reign those in as well (pun intended!)
- And please … if your MLS photos were taken while your decorations were on display, have them retaken as soon as the holidays are over.
Wishing you a season filled with fun, family, friends, peace and time to watch your favorite holiday movie! See you next year!