Hide the tinsel and relatives if you want a Christmas sale
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.