A general misconception among many people is that the holiday season is not an ideal time to have a home on the market. Sellers opt to delay listing their homes until mid-January or spring after considering the potential for unfavorable weather, the timing of open houses, and the burden of keeping a home clean during the holidays. But that logic is exactly why Network Real Estate agents will tell you that this period is one of the most advantageous times for sellers. Not only are there fewer homes on the market to compete with – house hunters looking during the holidays are very serious buyers.
Striking a balance between immaculate and lived in is at the core of efficiently and effectively staging your home. And while the universal home-staging tips of keeping your home clutter-free, clean, open and inviting through well-placed accents and gender neutral décor still apply year-round, the holiday season provides a unique opportunity for sellers to enhance the natural ambiance and charm of their home.
Once you’ve committed to putting your house on the market during the holidays, consider these steps to appeal to serious homebuyers:
- Emphasize your home’s best features. Staging is about choosing the right props, creating focal points in main living areas, and guiding potential buyers to your home’s most unique features. While it may seem that the snowflake decals on the bay window draw attention to your spacious, private backyard, they may in fact obstruct the view. Be selective and think critically when staging your home. Opt for small touches, such as mistletoe and tinsel, to catch a homebuyer’s attention.
- Complement your existing color palette. A fresh coat of neutral paint makes your home appear larger, brighter and more appealing. A palette of white, pearl and tan is extremely elegant and sophisticated. If you’ve got an earthy color scheme, accent with rich tones like cranberries, forest greens and gold. Green and brown gives a natural look to a living room. When done properly, matching the color palettes will allow your holiday décor to blend in and enhance the ambiance of your home rather than distract or take away from its natural beauty.
- All that shimmers … You may be tempted to add some shiny silver to your space this season, and metallics are an excellent way to lighten dark spaces. Accentuate your holiday collection by playing with metallic colors such as gold, silver and bronze tablescapes. Spray painting pinecones or a branch to match your color scheme is also an inexpensive way to use organic materials and add shine.
- Stay neutral. You never know whether buyers will be male or female, or what their personal taste will be. It’s best to play it safe, especially when it comes to the holiday season. Overtly religious flourishes may be off-putting to some buyers.
- Think cozy. A few subtle touches like a bowl of pinecones or a lightly decorated, elegant wreath can add that cozy, holiday touch that you’re looking for. Consider incorporating winter fragrances, like a pot of cider simmering on the stove, to create a warm and festive feeling. Candles and lightly scented soaps are great ways to add a little holiday scent without overdoing it.
- Light the fireplace. One of the greatest home-staging tips is to ensure your home is flooded with natural light, but sellers must adapt as days become shorter during winter months. Potential homebuyers are more likely to visit your home at night, and lighting your fireplace keeps your home warm and inviting without infringing on any precious square footage.
- Take it outside. Be mindful of the changing of the seasons. When trees lose their leaves in the fall and winter months, maintaining your home’s exterior becomes all the more important. Ensure every detail is taken care of to make a lasting impression. Add a sophisticated string of lights to play up your home’s architecture and create possibility and potential in your outdoor living area.
Consider what kind of feeling buyers should experience when they walk in, and take the steps necessary to create that sensation. Be conscious about whether or not your trimmings are enhancing or detracting from your home’s finer features. A clean and inviting home helps potential homebuyers envision themselves living a stress-free, happy life, and gets you one step closer to creating memories in your new home.
Parting with your home is one of the most substantial transactions you’ll make in your lifetime. That’s why more Wilmington, N.C. home sellers turn to the experienced team at Network Real Estate
than any other Realtor. We’ve been in the business for more than 30 years, and we know what it takes to get your highest quantity of offers at the highest price available in the marketplace.
Kevin McKoy is a GRI-certified, licensed real estate broker at Network Real Estate, which has exclusively served a high volume of property sales and purchases in the greater Wilmington area for over 30 years. With three offices at College Road, Historic Downtown and Pleasure Island, Network’s brokers are widespread and well-versed in this marketplace, making Network a preferred Real Estate company for first-home buyers and beyond.