If you’re trying to sell your home during the holidays, there are a few considerations that can help or hinder the process. Here are some tips for planning a successful open house during the winter holiday season.
1. Make Things Cozy
During the holidays, warm and inviting homes make buyers want to stay at an open house longer. Try to make things as inviting as possible. If you have a fireplace, make sure it’s running. You should also consider baking cookies or offering a cup of warm cider to your guests.
2. Keep Things Classic
Elegant decorations provide a more understated, traditional look and feel that will appeal to more buyers. Avoid overly kitschy or extravagant holiday décor which can put certain buyers off, especially if they don’t share your religious beliefs. You should also be careful not to cover up any of the house’s important assets with decorations.
While most people are generally not offended by seasonal décor, avoid going overboard. A tasteful evergreen holiday wreath on the front door can add a bit of inviting style, and a few clean white lights inside a home can provide some simple, classic sophistication. On the other hand, you should try to avoid the gaudy cartoon Santas and snowmen.
Ideally, you should try to make the main focal points in your house look holiday-ready, or your home might feel gloomy. If the mantle is left plain, for instance, it can look out of place this time of year and give prospective buyers a vague feeling of discontent.
3. Focus on Safety
It’s important to keep your driveway and walkways free of ice and snow to make your home more approachable and inviting. You also want to avoid any liability issues that could occur if someone suffers an injury due to a fall.
Solar lights along walkways can help illuminate a path for open house attendees. A layer of sand can also help keep visitors safe when the walkways start to ice over. You should also knock off any icicles and snow drifts that might fall on an unwitting prospective buyer.
If your open house will run into late afternoon, set a timer on the porch light so visitors will be able to easily spot the house number. On the porch, place a welcome mat for muddy or wet feet, so guests don’t soil carpeting or flooring as they come and go.
4. Monitor the Weather
If the weather outside is expected to turn frightful, consider rescheduling the open house. Some people travel long distances to look at a home, so be sure to keep an eye on the forecast in case any storms seem to be brewing on the horizon.
5. Avoid Leaving Gifts Out in the Open
Anytime you have strangers in your home, it’s best to put away your treasures. Even if you aren’t concerned about theft, you may risk having something damaged as prospective buyers and their children make their way through your home.
In addition to making a home look more cluttered, too many presents can also make a property feel awkwardly personal for buyers who are trying to imagine their futures in a home. While a few gifts can add a seasonal feel to a home; a huge pile is likely to distract visitors and turn off prospective buyers.
6. Market Broadly, Early and Creatively
Although winter is not an ideal time to sell a home, it does bring out serious buyers. That said, while people who venture out for open houses during the holiday season might be the most serious buyers of all, they don’t always arrive in large numbers.
To make sure you attract a decent crowd, start your event marketing as soon as possible. Talk to your real estate agent about all the potential ways you can creatively publicize your open house, whether it’s by leveraging social media or putting up signs near a local holiday festival or fair.
With more than six decades of collective experience, The Wheaton Team specializes in residential real estate throughout all of Colorado Springs, the Tri-Lakes area and El Paso County. Contact us today and let us guide you through each step of the selling process, so you can achieve your real estate goals.