Hide the tin­sel and relatives if you want a Christ­mas sale

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY - Sharon Dale

IF you have your prop­erty up for sale over Christ­mas and New Year, it’s im­por­tant to en­sure the fes­tiv­i­ties don’t dis­tract you from se­cur­ing a suc­cess­ful sale.

It’s true that would-be buy­ers are in short sup­ply at this time of year, but it pays to be on guard just in case some­one books a view­ing or even knocks on your door on the off chance you’ll show them round.

Steve Lees, of Email4Prop­erty. co.uk, says: “Christ­mas can bring with it a num­ber of dis­trac­tions for sell­ers, so it’s im­por­tant that you con­tinue to view your home ob­jec­tively. What may seem a small con­sid­er­a­tion, such as whether or not to buy a real or ar­ti­fi­cial tree, could have a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on the buyer’s over­all im­pres­sion.”

The main mes­sage is that there is a fine bal­ance to be struck be­tween hav­ing made an ef­fort with the Christ­mas decor and go­ing too far.

Less is more, so steer well clear of tin­sel and think very care­fully be­fore you dec­o­rate the ex­te­rior of the prop­erty. Too many lights out­doors are a big no no, though a real holly wreath on the door would be more than ac­cept­able.

The best op­tion for Christ­mas decor is a tra­di­tional look us­ing nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als such as holly, ivy and pine cones with a real, or re­al­is­tic look­ing ar­ti­fi­cial tree. Make sure cards are tidily dis­played and def­i­nitely not tacked to the wall. You could try tap­ing them to wide rib­bon that you can hang ver­ti­cally or buy spe­cial card hold­ers.

What­ever you do, make sure the house doesn’t look clut­tered. If need be, pile the ex­tra food, bot­tles, parcels into the car boot while the view­ing takes place. If you have fam­ily stay­ing, ar­range for them to pop out for half an hour while you show wouldbe buy­ers round, or bet­ter still ar­range the view­ing for a time when you know they won’t be in. Crowds are off-putting.

Al­though sell­ers may see Christ­mas as a prob­lem time for show­ing peo­ple round their home, it can be pos­i­tive too.

If you get it right, the Christ­mas decor can cre­ate a warm, happy at­mos­phere.

Here, Steve Lees sug­gests five ways to at­tract buy­ers this Christ­mas.

Find out who your es­tate agent con­tact is over the Christ­mas pe­riod and who will be ar­rang­ing view­ings as well fol­low­ing them up. Let your es­tate agent know in ad­vance when you will be able to ac­com­mo­date view­ings, tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion any guests you may have stay­ing and par­ties you plan on host­ing. If you are un­able to ded­i­cate the nec­es­sary time to en­sur­ing your home is pre­sentable over the Christ­mas pe­riod, sug­gest an open day in the New Year.

It’s im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that a 20ft mo­tion rein­deer or lights to ri­val Black­pool’s may not be to ev­ery­one’s taste. To avoid of­fend­ing prospec­tive buy­ers steer clear of dec­o­ra­tions this year, or else keep them to a min­i­mum. Buy­ing a small tree with wrapped presents hid­den from view and re­frain­ing from hang­ing dec­o­ra­tions from walls and ceil­ings, will help make rooms look less clut­tered and larger.

If this Christ­mas brings snow, you’ll need to make sure that paths and drive­ways are grit­ted, al­low­ing easy ac­cess and pre­vent­ing vis­i­tors from fall­ing. A build-up of moss and leaves in gut­ter­ing could also cause them to over­flow dur­ing rainy spells. Make sure these are cleared to pre­vent un­sightly drip­ping.

Coun­ter­act the win­ter chill with a warm and invit­ing home but make sure rooms are well ven­ti­lated. As well as pre­vent­ing rooms from be­com­ing stuffy and ban­ish­ing lin­ger­ing smells, This will also help pre­vent con­den­sa­tion around doors, win­dows and ex­ter­nal walls which could con­cern buy­ers. Rooms should also be well lit, en­hanc­ing key fea­tures.

If you do re­ceive an of­fer be­fore the New Year, con­sider whether you are pre­pared to ac­cept a lower price in or­der to se­cure a quick sale. Re­mem­ber that your es­tate agent is there to pro­vide help and ad­vice.

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