The holidays are fast approaching, with Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner! Summer is just about over, and many of us get that incurable itch to decorate for our favorite holiday (or all of them).
As a broker, how do you guide your clients on proper home staging etiquette during the holiday season? Here are some quick and easy guidelines to make sure your staging project is a surefire hit.
Less Is More: Yep, simple, classic decor that doesn’t overwhelm the home’s style, or the buyers senses when they walk in the door, is a great first step. In fact, simple and classic should start OUTSIDE the home with the exterior decor. Again, less is more.
This also goes for personal, religious items. It is your home, but you’re trying to sell your home. This means that potential buyers need to visualize themselves living there with their furnishings and items. To appeal to the widest audience, try not to have too many religious artifacts and decor on display.
Keep it Neutral: Neutral colors, like the classic white lights, help to keep the focus on the house itself, not the lights outside and inside. When choosing a lighting configuration, keep in mind that blinking or chasing holiday lights are very distracting to the eye. Keep the light level at a mid to low level brightness.
The same can be said for the tree and household decorations. Keeping the neutral theme going, use decorations that don’t compete with the lights, but instead accent them. White lights pair well with gold, cream, pale rose, pale green, silver, and pale blue. Make sure that the decor around the room coordinates as well, this helps the decor be a backdrop to the home itself.
Gifts: Who doesn’t love seeing the gifts in their beautiful wrappings, waiting for the morning when eager faces see their long awaited surprises? While the gifts are a wonderful sight to see, they are a huge attractant for the less than scrupulous of home viewers. It is not uncommon for thieves to view a house at holiday time to scope out the layout and see what they can break in and take. When you have your home listed during the holiday season, it is ALWAYS wise to keep gifts out of sight, in a secure location that doesn’t get viewed during home showings and open houses. Also, be sure after the holidays are over, to dispose of boxes and packaging that might indicate what is inside the home. The less people know what goodies you got, the better.
Brokers can also help cull the herd, so to speak, by asking potential home buyers for a pre-approval letter before viewing homes. This can help strengthen their stance as a potential home buyer, as well as strengthening an offer that may be written. As a homeowner, you also have a right to ask that brokers only show to pre-approved buyers. This can also cut down on the neighborhood looky-loos who just want to see inside your home.
Sounds and Smells: The sounds of holiday music and the smells of freshly baked goodies are a great way to make your home more inviting during open houses, showings, and broker tours. Keep the sounds and smells neutral and pleasant. Soft instrumental holiday music is perfectly fine, and a nice way to enhance things like surround sound or piped music throughout the house.
The smell of freshly baked cookies, pie or bread are a classic treat for the nose. Just be sure to keep it from being overpowering, as some visitors may be sensitive to scents that are perfumy and strong.
Holiday Calendar: Last but not least, be sure to let your broker know your holiday schedule so that you can enjoy your family time without interruption. If you don’t want your home shown during certain days, that is perfectly fine! Let your broker know if you’ll be out of town as well, that way your broker can be sure that things are secure for when you come back.
Happy Holidays everyone! Let the merriment commence!