I've sold more than one home during the holidays, and it was totally different than I expected, (but in a good way!) The first time I was faced with selling a home during the holiday season, I was worried that I might turn buyers off if I decorated too much, or if I pretended that the holiday season didn't exist.
Maybe you just received a job transfer or your home has been on the market a few months and here comes the holiday season — you might find yourself selling at a time when you'd normally be decorating and celebrating. Through my own experiences, and my staging and decorating work, I found the perfect balance that makes selling during the holidays, much easier.
Here are the 5 things I learned about selling my home during the holidays.
1. Accept That it’s Okay if You Decorate and Celebrate
The first tip is to let go of any hesitation or self-consciousness about decorating your home, knowing that strangers will be coming in. Let’s be honest, it definitely can be unsetting when your house is on the market and strangers are walking through, but at the holidays it can really feel more personal. Buyers assume that you’re living in the home and that you won’t put your life on hold just because they’ll be touring your home. Celebrate and decorate for the holidays by striking the perfect balance of comfortable and too-personal.
2. Strike a Balance Between Home Staging and Holiday Decorating
I know that I just said it’s totally okay to decorate and celebrate for the holidays, even when you’re selling your home — it’s still true. But… decorating this year will be a little different. You’re going to be combining home staging with your holiday decorating. That means that you’ll be viewing your holiday decorations through the eyes of a home stager, or a home buyer. This means that you’ll be looking at your decorations as if you’re touring your home for the first time, making sure that you’re still highlighting its best features.
3. Edit Your Decorations to Let Your Home Shine Through
In case you’re wondering, there is a bright side to holiday decorating when your home is on the market. When you edit your holiday decorations, it gives you the motivation to rethink the boxes you unpack and repack every holiday — this is a great time to donate or sell decor that you take out of a box every year without actually displaying it. When you edit your holiday decor, it means less to pack and store for next year, (Winning!)
4. Personalize Your Holiday Decorating, But Keep it Simple
Be true to yourself and your beliefs, while thinking of creative ways to use your special traditions that enhance your home’s features. Not every homebuyer celebrates the same holidays as you, but that doesn’t mean you have to go generic on your decorations. By using a color palette for your decorations this year, or even a theme, you can still honor your traditions while creating an inviting and appealing experience for your potential home buyers.
5. Beyond Decorating — Why Selling Your Home at the Holidays Can be Awesome
I’ll be honest, it won’t always be sugarplums and candy canes when your home is on the market this holiday season. But there are benefits to selling in the “off-season.”
Reduced Competition: Many home sellers don’t want to be inconvenienced at the holidays, and pull their homes off the market. Or their real estate agent advises them to pull it off the market during the holidays. This means your home may get more exposure with less competition.
Homes can be More Inviting at the Holidays: I think homes that are decorating for any holiday are more appealing and welcoming than ever. A beautiful wreath on the front door, and pretty lights and foliage inside, are enticing to buyers.
Home Buyers are More Serious: Let’s face it, if you’re looking to buy a home when everyone else is settling in for the holidays, you’re a serious buyer. Many buyers were just transferred to the area, or their house just closed escrow, and they need to buy. There will be a lot less recreational home shopping traffic at this time — why not take the most of it?