Monday, November 29, 2010

Winter buyers are serious. Give them a treat and don’t over decorate during the holidays.

Using some restraint in holiday decorating goes a long way to selling your home now.

Celebrating the holidays and selling your home can go hand-in-hand if you use a little restraint in the decorating department. Keep in mind that buyers who look at homes during the winter are serious; with interest rates low and a wide variety of housing to choose from you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to sell because of overwhelming decorations.

Beginning on the outside, curb appeal is even more important during the winter because of the lack of grass and trees. Making potential buyers feel welcome is a great start in the sales process. Hanging a beautiful, real wreath on the door is a good start. Use fresh greens rather artificial so visitors enter your home with the pleasing scent of pine.

If you are an outdoor lights aficionado, go ahead but keep it simple. The inflatable Santa that is your family tradition–keep it packed up for your next home, but do add lights around your door and along the walkway. Generally non-twinkling white lights are preferable because they do light the way for prospective buyers and reduce potential falls in the evening hours.

Decorating for the holiday season follows the same rules as other times…declutter, keep it simple, keep it impersonal and show off your home’s best points. Yes, you can have a Christmas tree this year and sell your home at the same time! When choosing that tree, pick a slender one rather than a bushy behemoth. And before you bring the tree in, take a few pieces of furniture out of the room. Offering a view of a cramped, cluttering room is not a holiday treat for buyers. They need to see the true strengths of your home and imagine themselves celebrating the holidays here next year.

As with the refreshing pine scent from your door wreath, tempting your buyer’s senses inside increases the chance of a sale. If you have an open house during the holidays, offer mulled cider and bake some Christmas cookies instead of using artificial, chemical imitations. Buyers know the real thing and will respond.

Inside decorations should be low-key and subtle. Unpack only a few prized, but impersonal things. Small table decorations, some holiday flowers, a few pine cones and some simple greens over the fireplace will do the trick.

Once the holiday cheer dies down, remove all your decorations directly after New Years. Buyers want to know you’ve taken care of their potential home and attending to such details shows you care about selling.

Despite having to show some restraint with your holiday decorating, just remember you can do what you want next year in your new home.

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