Selling During the Holidays

Selling your Northern Virginia home during the holidays is not ideal but sometimes can’t be avoided.  The decision to decorate for the holidays when selling a house is always difficult.  Should you put a tree up?  Should you put outside lights on the house?  Should you just skip Christmas, Kwanzaa, or Hanukkah all together?  It can be more stress on top of what is already a stressful time of the year for most. 

The good thing about selling your home during the holidays is that most buyers are serious. Those that are house shopping NEED to purchase, which is good. Historically, there are fewer homes on the market as well, which also works in your favor. However, the need for proper presentation is still key, no matter what time of year you are listing.

Just as personal belongings tend to distract buyers, your seasonal decorating can serve to be a distraction, however you don’t have to ditch ALL your holiday decorating traditions.  Here are 10 tips on how to navigate staging your home to sell during the holidays.

#1: Clean and declutter.
This is your first step to selling your home any time of the year.  Decluttering your home before bringing out any holiday decorations is a must, or you risk your seasonal decor simply adding to the clutter that already exists.

#2: WAIT to decorate until AFTER your professional photos have been taken. 
Your photos are the first thing a buyer sees and you don’t want them to see a Christmas tree in your photos in February if your house didn’t sell quickly.

#3: KISS – Keep it simple silly! 
Whatever you use to decorate – keep everything simple.  Display a few classic pieces instead of every heirloom family favorite. Your tree should be simple and able to fit the space.  Larger trees for large rooms and slim trees for smaller spaces.  If you use a real tree – make sure to daily pick up fallen needles.

#4: Use seasonal greenery. 
Deck the halls with fresh garland and use a fresh evergreen wreath to adorn your front door.  Greenery is traditional and simple and adds a great smell to the home.

#5: Don’t display your Christmas cards
We all love those cards we receive from family and friends.  However, this can be like personal photos and create a distraction as well as provide visual disruption, no matter how you decide to display.

#6: Wrap up a few empty boxes under the tree.
This creates a finished look without causing stressing about someone stealing your actual gifts.  Place your gifts under the tree when your family celebrates.

#7: Put away religious symbols.
No nativity scenes, menorahs, nutcrackers, etc.  The goal is to allow anyone to envision themselves living in YOUR home, regardless of their personal beliefs. Best to keep those packed away for next year in your new house.

#8: Use white lights.
White lights are simple and elegant and do not distract or make a room crazy.  If you have to string extension cords all over the house to use lights, then just avoid them altogether.  You don’t want to allude to the fact there is not sufficient outlets in the home.

#9: Use simple ornaments. 
Back to the “keep it simple” in tip #3.  Instead of trimming your tree with your family’s homemade ornaments, use simple, streamlined ornaments in the same color.  This will make your tree less of a distraction and more of a part of the home for the holidays.

#10: Curb appeal
Use lights on the exterior of the home only to highlight a feature such as a great tree in the front yard or the architecture of the house.  If everyone in the neighborhood lights up their house, don’t be the neighborhood grinch and shy away from the flair of the neighborhood.  But in the same sense, don’t be the Griswolds of the neighborhood – remember to keep it simple and stay away from excessive lights and inflatable yard décor.  AND one last thing –  always make sure to clear away any snow or ice from the driveway and or sidewalks to make your house presentable and accessible.

You don’t have to skip the holidays just because your house is on the market.  Following our home staging tips can help you enjoy the holidays while minimizing the stress.  And who knows, you may just wake up Christmas morning with an offer!

Need additional help deciding how to prepare your Northern Virginia home for sale? We offer both interior redesign consultations for those staying in their home, and staging consultations to help get your home show ready.

Book an appointment today online!