Selling Your Home in a Winter Wonderland
By Patrick McCarran
Real Estate Broker
One of the many byproducts of Covid-19 is the extension of the current strong market. Traditionally 30%-50 % of active buyers fall off as the winter and holiday season is upon us. However with the delay caused by the pandemic it has extended demand for homes, so as they say time to make hay while the sun is shining. If it is necessary to list your home in now then it may make sense to take advantage of the season and use festive decorations to set the tone. This is a time when you can showcase your house in a unique way to highlight areas that normally may not stand out. By creating a festive atmosphere, a home seller allows perspective buyers to envision what their holidays will be like in the property—complete with a beautifully trimmed tree, the twinkling of lights and the smell of Christmas cookies in the air.
That being said I am not suggesting that you channel the infamous Clark Griswold from “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” As with all staging less is generally more. You do not want to overwhelm the buyer or distract from the homes features, merely highlight them.
Buyers often will associate a sense of ‘home’ through the traditions and memories of holidays past. Through tasteful decorations you can bring those memories out and it is a great way to attract buyers.
Nighttime is when many perspective buyers are driving around looking at houses, and nothing will slow them down more than a great Christmas light display. “A well designed display adds festive elegance to a home, and highlights the already present features of the property.” said Brandon Stephens, vice president of Marketing at The Decor Group, Inc., Lubbock, Texas, specializing in interior and exterior holiday decorating. This doesn’t have to be an over the top contest worthy event. A straight forward light display and a few lawn decorations such as Frosty coupled with large ornaments in the trees can turn almost any yard festive. Don’t forget to highlight the For Sale sign as well, a few lights and maybe some well placed decorations.
Embrace the holidays by holding a twilight open house, when your agent can serve hot chocolate and Christmas cookies to show off the Christmas lights, holiday decorations and all that the house has to offer.
Here are some simple suggestions to ensure your home captures the holiday spirit without interfering in the real estate process:
- Keep decorations to a minimum so you don’t block views, make rooms feel smaller and disrupt the natural flow of the home.
- Consider a smaller tree and store most of the gifts in another room.
- Incorporate fresh evergreen or rosemary into your decorating for a classic look and to promote “the Christmas tree smell.”
- Make sure light strings and extension cords are tucked away for everyone’s safety.
- Try to avoid overly religious or cultural decorations to keep it neutral so a greater number of buyers will see it as their potential home.
- Leave a plate of holiday cookies and warm cider or cocoa for prospective buyers with a holiday note.
The holidays are emotional times for many people, including home shoppers. Holiday decorations presented tastefully and sensibly, can help you wrap a bow on your home for just the right buyer.
Patrick McCarran is a local Realtor and Broker DRE# 01325072. He can be contacted by phone or text at
(925) 899-5536, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.CallPatrick.com. An independently owned and operated office. In association with Realty One Group Elite DRE# 0193160.
Equal Housing Opportunity.