With changing of the seasons, there’s a definite chill in the air. The holidays are right around the corner. Soon, the snow will start falling, creating a magical atmosphere and, in many ways, a perfect time to sell your home. If history is any indication, the winter months are generally quieter for home buying. Fewer houses are on the market and there is less to choose from -- which can be a good scenario for sellers. Buyers may have less inventory to pick from, but they also have less competition in the marketplace. With all of the holiday parties and events that may be happening in our home, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the hectic pace of it all – but this is just where your broker can be your best ally.
Most enjoy decorating their home for the holidays with menorah candles, lights, wreaths, trees and other knick-knacks that hold special meaning. In this case, less is more; you want to highlight your home, not make it look as if the Griswold’s are holding their next family Christmas. Don’t hide the natural features of your home; maybe a string of white lights around the mantle or a wreath wrapped around stairs with a few simple bows. If decorating a tree, keep it simple with a nice color scheme and nothing too gaudy. You have a prime opportunity to show your house off a bit, so make it extra warm and cheery! If you’re unsure if you’re doing too much – connect with your broker, who will know exactly how it should look. Follow a similar pattern for the outside of your home, keeping it simple and tasteful, yet welcoming.
Safety first. It’s imperative to keep sufficient amounts of ice melt on hand and also be sure to have extra door mats handy. Winter is notorious for easily tracking salt and sand inside on your shoes. Have a snow removal company’s number on hand, since you’ll want to be sure to keep the driveway plowed and the snow off the steps and walkways for showings and open houses. If planning on traveling for the holidays, be sure to have a neighbor or friend check in on your home both inside and out to make sure all is well!
With so much going on during this season, it really is essential to keep your house tidy! Set aside a specific area where you can keep all of your packages and presents where they will be out of sight (this also goes for luggage if traveling). After you’ve opened presents, resist the urge to display them. Put them away and yes, -- that means fold your sweaters, and place those new boots in the closet. Recycle your boxes and wrapping paper so that it’s not lingering around. Since holidays can be a bit hectic, and company is consistently stopping in for some cheer, you may want to limit viewing times to open houses or by appointment only so that you can have some control over your home’s appearance.
This generally is a crucial detail most overlook when getting ready to show their home but also the most noteworthy; be careful as to what you cook. According to the Washington Post, there are 7 main dishes you should NEVER cook prior to showing your home: fish, eggs, broccoli, cabbage, popcorn, and definitely NO curry (or other spicy foods). Also avoid take-out. These are sure to leave a not-so-pleasant scent that might not bother you – but is sure to be noticed by strangers -- ie:) potential buyers – coming into your home for the first time.
The holidays are a festive time filled with family and friends, and with the help of a professional broker, selling your home can offer added reason to celebrate. With a team in place to help you at each turn, and the gift of winter’s charm -- your house will undoubtedly be someone’s treasure.
Sheryl Simon is a Principal at Benoit Mizner Simon & Co., LLC with more than 17 years of experience helping sellers and buyers in the Weston real estate market. With offices in Weston and Wellesley, Sheryl can be reached at (781) 910-3405 or Sheryl@benoitmiznersimon.com. Benoit Mizner Simon & Co., LLC * 450 Boston Post Rd., Weston, MA 02493 * 54 Central St., Wellesley, MA 02482