Tis the Season to deck the halls and trim the tree, but beware that you don't go too far if your home will be staying on the market through the season.
Many begin to wonder if leaving their home on the market through the holiday season is a good decision. The overall opinion of most Realtors is yes. The reasons for this thought-process are many.
For starters, buyers looking for a home during the six weeks between Nov. 15 and Jan. 1 are generally extraordinarily committed buyers. Chances are that they are preparing for a change in job that will require a move out-of-state. Others may be entertaining the idea of coming to the area and find the holidays the perfect time to scope out the neighborhood. Finally others are attempting to make a large purchase before the New Year for the tax benefit.
Now that you know the commitment level of the buyers, you need to know how to draw them in, and keep them hanging around long enough to make an offer.
Curb appeal does wonders for drawing them in. A multi-layered holiday display complete with Santa on the roof, Frosty on the lawn and multi-colored blinking lights is not recommended; however, a simple pinecone wreath and clean and clear walkways will be considered inviting.
Once they get over the threshold, sellers can keep potential buyers touring by making the home appealing. Make sure your home smells good, as smell is one of the strongest human memories. Mulled cider on the stove, complete with cookies and cups and a sign that reads, "help yourself," will likely keep the potential buyer in the kitchen long enough for them to notice the color of the countertops and the cozy feeling – all the better for them to feel at home.
You also want to make the home light, as the days are dark, and folks are likely to be touring after sunset. If you have a fireplace, light it, and remember to drape pretty throws over the back of chairs to further enhance the feeling of hominess.
It's okay to decorate the interior of your home, but try not to go overboard. A small tree or menorah is fine, but statues of Jesus and Mary or a large menorah in the center of the room may be a turnoff to some. Better to leave the massive decorations for another year.
Now the committed buyer is ready to really tour the house. Make sure, if you have animals, that there is no lingering smell from cat litter or other problems, and be sure to keep each room tidy. After that, it's a matter of your home selling itself – a much more likely scenario than you may think during the busy holiday season.