Real Estate Advisor: December 2012
Living a Life you Love, While Selling Your Home during the HOLIDAYS
While you are looking to buy or to sell a home, life goes on – parties and holidays, life-events and out-of-town guests happen. Simply living in your home can be a challenge while you are showing it; keeping things neat and tidy, clean and inviting is not something everyone thinks of or can achieve with ease. So entertaining and decorating for special occasions might just seem impossible – but here are some tips and tricks for ensuring your success in showing a home and having fun, too. Celebrating holidays and events with festive décor can make your home more memorable to potential buyers, and this is the time to control those memories and turn them to your favor. There might even be a plus side to entertaining or hosting events in a home you are selling with the increased exposure.
What a time to host a party! In addition to all those things you’ve done to show it to perspective buyers, now you and your friends get to enjoy it, too. With each room looking great, your guests might get a last chance to see you in your old place. All those fine features of your home can shine under the warm glow you bring to your special event. From where you place focal features of the season or event, to showing your great dining area or garden feature in all its glory, this can be the time to stage your home with a bit of glitz.
Décor: When “Less is More”
The splendor of each holiday, regardless of your customs or heritage, can bring quantities of clutter into a home, making rooms feel smaller and more crowded. Be aware of the scale of items you bring in, and consider taking other items out. You can redecorate again after the events are over. Remember, this is still your home, and you can have the fun while also making smart choices to sell it.
Choose decorations to showcase great features of the home – if you have a high ceiling with crown molding, following the lines of a holiday tree can illuminate this asset. However, if the room is small, ensure that the tree you choose does not overpower the space; consider a tasteful table-top tree with smaller ornaments, it will be easier to set up and to take down, too. Home-made decorations may be beautiful, but consider the over-all look before unpacking everything. You get to be strategic as well as nostalgic this year. An unusual home-made item might be just the thing that keeps your home in people’s mind, but make it a favorable memory for them as well as for you.
Hosting events in your home, especially around the holiday season, creates a natural time for good smells. People won’t laugh that you are luring them in with cookies, because many people really do a lot of baking during the season. However, watch out for overpowering smells of other food and scented candles that can make it seem like you are masking odors.
During the winter months, live greens are wonderful smelling, but present issues if your home is dry and warm – the browning needles may drop from trees and garlands, so ensure you have a broom or vacuum handy and keep that live tree watered well. Each activity or decorating choice will be more important because the space is essentially open to potential buyers.
If you are selling your home during a busy season of entertaining and holidays, here are the key things to watch out for:
All good things must come to an end: be timely in taking things down. If you can’t avoid going over the top with the party trimmings, have a plan for how and when things will return to normal. If you are keeping decorations or lights up throughout a season or holiday, do a quality job with them. After all, using hooks you leave in place all year long so that putting up the lights is easier can be a benefit to someone who notices detail. And those same tasteful decorations can add glow to the best features of your home.
While your event might cause you to improve lighting on the outside of your home, balloons and excess cans for trash pick up don’t improve your curb appeal. Ensure that you have a plan for dealing with recycling and garbage – both during and after the event. It is important that it doesn’t look like there’s inadequate room for you recycling or trash. Plan to remove it promptly, even if your city pickup is a few days away.
So in the end, holidays and events that are well planned and executed might be just the thing to do. You don’t really have to stop entertaining – you just have to be smarter about it.
Enjoy your home, show it off to groups of people, and still live a life you love while selling your home during the holidays. Keeping the tips in mind, you are guaranteed to be off to a great time.
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