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Tips for Showing Your Home During the Holidays

by The Linda Frierdich Group - Century 21 Advantage

 

Tips for Showing Your Home During the Holidays

 

This time of year is often regarded as a terrible time to sell your home, because the housing market slows during the holidays.   However, this is not necessarily true.  There are a number of things you can do to help your home stand out during the rest, giving you an advantage despite the less saturated market.  In fact, if you play your cards right, there is even some evidence that sellers actually get better results during the Winter months 


There may be less buyers in the winter months, but that means that there are also less buyers.  You can make this work in your favor.  Hire an experienced real estate agent, and price your home right.  Remember, also, that many of the buyers looking for homes in the winter are doing so because they have a specific reason for moving.  Whether it be divorce, job transfer, or any number of reasons, buyers are motivated.  If you are a motivated seller, this can work in your favor in a major way.  Here are some tips to give you an idea of what works (and what doesn’t) for staging your home for sale during the holidays.

 

 

Decorating

 

First things first, decorating your home for the holidays.  There are two schools of thought on whether or not sellers should decorate their home for the holidays when they will be opening the home for showings.  On one hand, it would be awful to overwhelm a Buyer with personal decorations, because for many buyers, it can be difficult to picture themselves in a home that is so personal to the sellers.  Furthermore, many times, holiday decorations can get excessive and make the home look cluttered, which in turn makes the home look smaller and certainly doesn’t leave a good feeling in the buyers’ minds after a showing.  It’s also important to note that not everyone celebrates the same holidays as you do, and some people don’t celebrate the holidays at all.  Decorating your home heavily for the holiday you celebrate might alienate your home from some potential buyers who follow a different belief system than you.


However, there are some really great things that can happen if you decorate your home properly.  A home decorated for the holidays feels warmer, cozier, and more inviting.  Since light is such an important factor in your home’s appeal to potential buyers, including indoor lights into your holiday decorating can be a great way to decorate for the holidays, while helping to illuminate your rooms fully.  Simplicity is key, so when you are digging out the decorations, even if you usually go all-out for the holidays in your home, it’d be a good choice to tone it down this year and think, “simple and chic.”  Steer clear of the kitsch, and perhaps consider leaving many items packed away, at least for this year. 

 

Holiday Lights

 

Just like interior decorations, there are two schools of thought on putting up holiday decorations.  Some people will advise you to steer clear of decorating all together, and the other group will tell you that decorating your home can actually help potential buyers picture themselves in your home.  Keeping it simple is definitely the way to go, should you decide to decorate your home for the holidays.  Don’t go overboard with outside decorations, and sticking to the classics can be a great philosophy.  Steer clear of large lawn decorations, and keep it chic and simple with the lights strung on your home.  Given that it will often be dark when potential buyers are coming to your home, being one of the only homes on your street without lights can make your home look uninviting and cold.  The lights will help illuminate the outside of your home so that those coming to your home for a showing can easily find their way. 

 

The Usual Rules Apply

 

Just like in any other season, the tips for holiday selling also include the ones typically given for home staging.  De-clutter, de-personalize, deep clean, and illuminate well.  Be sure that the interior of your home looks tidy, bright, and maximize the utilization of your space as best you can. 

For more information on general staging tips, click here.

 

Light, Light, Light

 

Winter is often a tough time for many people because of the lack of sunshine and shorter days.  Any real estate agent who knows their stuff will tell you that lighting your home properly goes SUCH a long way on making your home appealing to buyers.  Some homes are designed to let in more natural light than others, and some have better lighting on the interior than others.  Knowing how to play up the light that your home does have is key.  In the winter, days are shorter, and because of that, there will be no natural light flowing into your home during the hours that most showings are scheduled.  Before showings, be sure that you turn on all the lights in your home. 

 

Keep the Outside Clean


Be sure that your home looks clean going into the colder months, because the winter weather can cause damage and dirt to build up on and around your home.  Despite the dripping, sloppy snow, make sure that your home is as clean as can be, so that your home looks neat and tidy despite the weather happening around it.  Keep your porches, walkways, and driveway clear of ice and snow, always.   You never want to turn away a showing, and you certainly don’t want to be liable for anyone getting hurt on your property.  Not to mention, if it is hard to get into, your home will seem less inviting, right off the bat.  


If your home is being listed during the holidays, meaning that your interior photos will be done during the holidays for the advertising of your listing, it is recommended that you either get the photos done before you begin decorating or that you hold off on decorating until after your photos are taken.  The holidays will soon be over, but if your home is still on the market, the images people will be seeing will be dated to the holidays and no longer be appealing in the same way they would be during the holidays.  


All in all, selling a home during the holidays can prove to be a tricky endeavor, but it can also pay off for the sellers, if they utilize the knowledge and tools that are available.  

6 Steps to a Sale-Ready Home

by The Linda Frierdich Real Estate Group

 

6 EASY Steps to Make Your Home Ready for Sale


It's no secret that the majority of activity on a listed home happens right when the listing goes live.  There are many things that can take that flurry of activity and turn it into a quick home sale, from the right price to the photos to the staging of the home.  It's so important that the potential buyers looking at your home, whether through pictures or through a showing, see a home that they can picture as their own.  Here are six easy steps you can take to ensure that those initial interested parties aren't deterred by issues that could have been resolved before your home was listed.

 

 1.  De-Personalize

 

  • Remove Photos and Personal Items
    • Seeing personal items, such as photos, monogrammed decorations, etc. make a huge difference in how easily a potential Buyer pictures your home as their home.
  • Put Away Every-Day Essentials
    • Your toothbrush, makeup, and hair accessories cause distraction from the home and put a block between your personal home and the viewers' potential home.
  • Remove or Replace Items You Are Taking with You
    • For one thing, those items you are planning on taking with you probably have a distinct look that directly correlates with your style, but may not correlate with the style of the potential buyers.  It'd be terrible for a Buyer to fall in love with an intricate light fixture you have, only to find it gone when they go to close on the home.  The best route to take is to just avoid this issue all together and take any items you are planning on taking with you out of the home before you list it.
2.  Get Rid of Clutter

  • Donate What You Don't Need
    • Sift through those cluttered areas of your home and remove any items that you don't need.  Moving can be a great motivation to purge your home of things that you have been hanging on to for far too long.  After all, no one wants to move more items than they have to.
  • Clear Surfaces
    • Clear off nightstands, end tables, and kitchen counters to ensure that your home doesn't seem cluttered.  Some nice options for where to go with those items that usually sit out include organizational baskets with lids and mason jars for those kitchen utensils that you usually leave out.
  • Rent a Storage Unit
    • There are bound to be items in your home that you don't need access to until after the move, but that may lead to clutter or take up a lot of space in your home.  It might be a good idea to rent a storage unit and store those items while your home is on the market.  It may seem like an unnecessary expense, but it could make the difference in how quickly your home sells.

4.  Organize

  • "Face" Items
    • Have you ever noticed how all the products in the supermarket have the label facing forward?  This doesn't happen by chance; the store pays its employees to ensure that all items look neat and easily recognizable on their shelves.  Applying the same kind of logic to your cabinets at home will have a similar effect.  Potential buyers will want to open up the cabinets in your home to get a good look at the state of teh interior as well as the space they offer.  The more organized your items are, the better and more spacious the cabinets will look.
  • Organize Everything
    • Rearrange your spice rack and alphabetize your movie and music collections.  If you ahve an area of your home that lacks good organization, consider investing in some organizational containers.  An organized home leaves a more positive effect on visitors than a cluttered home, and you want potential buyers to leave your home feeling that they had a positive experience.
  • Maximize Your Closet Space
    • The more organized your closets are, the bigger they look.  Clothes packed in too tight, shoes that are overflowing their rack, and items crammed onto shelves are all issues that lead to your closets looking smaller than they actually are.  Closet space is a great talking point of a home, and you want to make sure that yours looks the best it can.
4. Repair & Re-Think

  • Re-think paint choices
    • The loud color choices you made in your home may have worked for you, but they also may not work for the potential Buyer.  Re-paint those rooms with a nice neutral color.  A neutral color also seems a lot less personal than a loud color, and your goal is to make your home de-personalized to leave room for personalization in the minds of your potential buyers.
  • Fix Any Problems You Can
    • Whether it be a leaky faucet, a clogged drain, or some nail holes in the walls, repair them!  There are plenty of homes on the market that are completely repaired and ready to sell.  Don't assume that a Buyer will see the repairs in your home and accept them just because they are easy enough to do.  If a buyer has a choice between your home, that is in need of repairs, and another home, that is not; chances are, they will choose the other home.
5.  Clean

  • Dust Everything
    • Dust everything you see that needs dusted.  Don't forget to look at light fixtures, window sills, woodwork, and door frames, in addition to the furniture you have in your home.  No one likes the idea of moving into a home and living in other people's filth.  The more deeply you clean, the better your house looks.
  • Focus on Floors
    • Wax wooden floors, steam clean all of your carpets, and vacuum daily.  This step is especially important for any pet owners looking to sell their homes.  Dogs and cats leave floors a mess from dandruff and shed fur.  Animals in a home can be a deterrent for certain home buyers, so it is important that you minimize the effect pet ownership has on a home.  Remove the animal smell through washing, steaming, and vacuuming.
  • Consider Hiring a Professional
    • Hiring a professional cleaning service may be the right choice for getting your home listing-ready in a hurry.  A professional knows the areas that need to be focused on, and they can help you get your home in a state where all you need to do is keep up on it as your home is shown and on the market.
6.  Boost Your Curb Appeal

 

  • Pressure Wash
    • Pressure washing your home's exterior can be a great way to make the outside of your home look more fresh and tidy.  The first impression a potential Buyer will get of your home will be from the curb appeal as they are walking up, so you want to be sure that the first impression is a good one.
  • Keep Up on Your Lawn
    • A tidy and trim lawn also makes a huge difference in your home's curb appeal.  Be sure to keep up on the mowing and trimming, both before your home is photographed and while it is on the market.  Many potential buyers will drive by your home before they book an actual showing, so you want to be sure that your home is looking great even when there are no showings scheduled.
  • Plant Flowers
    • Flowers not only give your yard more curb appeal by adding a pop of color, they also make your home seem prettier and more appealing.  A home with flowers outside feels more like a home than one without flowers out front.

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Photo of The Linda Frierdich Real Estate Group Real Estate
The Linda Frierdich Real Estate Group
Century 21 Advantage
103 S Main St
Columbia IL 62236
IL: 618.281.7621

138 Concord Plaza Dr
Saint Louis MO 63128
MO: 314.649.0221
Fax: 618.281.4311

Linda Frierdich is the area's premier real estate professional, offering services in St Louis, Kirkwood, Webster Groves, Crestwood, Ballwin, Arnold, Fenton, Oakville, Columbia, Waterloo, Millstadt, Valmeyer, Dupo, Belleville, O'Fallon, Mascoutah, Fairview Heights, Smithton, Ruma, Hecker, New Athens, Edwardsville, Collinsville, Caseyville, Shiloh, Swansea, Monroe County, Madison County, St Clair County, and Randolph County.  Her team focuses on resale homes, new construction, first time home buyers, condos, farms, land sales, subdivisions, lot sales, single family, multi-family, commercial, foreclosures, bank owned property, military relocation, and building. This site offers options to search real estate in Columbia Illinois and other areas. We offer buyer and sellers services second to none!

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