Commentary by Krista Bocko
It’s no secret that the real estate market typically slows down in winter months. With fewer properties on the market, you may wonder how best to showcase your house to sell while still being able to enjoy the season. I’ve compiled a little list of tips that will appeal to most buyers (and sellers) and will help you showcase your house in its best light.
- Keep raking and sweeping those leaves off lawns, drives and sidewalks as much as possible. And when the snow flies, of course you’ll want to keep sidewalks and steps (and driveways) shoveled and salted. Also, it should go without saying, but when December hits, remove pumpkins, gourds and fall décor.
- Do a serious purge of stuff. It’s a natural season to purge, anyway, but especially when selling. There’s nothing like the thought of going through the hassle of packing, moving and unpacking stuff to make one consider whether they really, truly need such-and-such. Only you can decide what’s worth keeping, but, be somewhat ruthless.
- If you normally decorate like Clark Griswold, scale way back. No yard inflatables, please! Warm, white lights inside and out are ideal – they look great and inviting and timeless.
- Simplify your usual colorful red and green décor and perhaps your collected hodge-podge of Christmas ornaments. You don’t need to deck all the halls, but go for trying to highlight your home’s best features. Consider using a more neutral color palette for a sophisticated look. Think silver, gold, white and maybe an icy blue.
- If you’re about to list, wait until after the professional photos are taken to decorate. This way your holiday decorations aren’t distracting from your house, and if the house is still on the market after Christmas, the photos don’t look dated.
- Bring out the cozy blankets, the velvet or chenille pillow covers and the warm textiles to add to seating and beds. This makes a room feel extra cozy in the cold months.
- Check with your realtor to see if you can block out some dates, within reason, so that you don’t have to worry about showings and can relax with your family and enjoy the season for a minute.