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SELLING Your Home for the Holidays

November 15, 2011

This blog is for Realtors, Sellers & Stagers alike regarding the photography that might be taken this season to sell your listing or home. 

Holiday Decor PicHome Owners: Although you might be tempted to trek out the HUGE holiday tree and all the trimmings please keep in mind a few things before you go overboard on the trimmings.  Your house, while on the market for sale, is no longer your home – it is a product for sale.  While you should still live in your home, be aware of what you put out first and what might be included in your listing photography.  Keep in mind as well that whatever you unpack to decorate with now, will only add to what needs to be packed up to move later should your home sell quickly.

Sure, a beautiful picture of the holiday tree in your living room might make your home feel warm and inviting – but what about in April if your home hasn’t sold?  Even a wreath on the front door can tell Buyers looking at your internet photos that your home has been on the market for a long time (too long)

Snow covered "curb appeal"Realtors:  Take these same thoughts into consideration when taking photographs of your listings before placing them on the MLS, or discuss this with your professional photographer ahead of time.  If your Seller is planning a big tree trimming party, maybe the photographs can be taken before the event so that every picture doesn’t scream “I’ve been on the market since December” when Buyers are looking at the listings in June.  Or at the very least, make a mental note that if a home has not opened escrow by say Valentine’s Day, that you update and CHANGE the listing photography on ALL your marketing.

The same goes for Mother Nature; in areas where snow is inevitable to taking curb shots of the home, make a note that at the first thaw you get updated pictures of the outside of the home.  And if you’re in an area that just got dumped on in the past month WITH snow, do you want all of your listing photos to be showing bright Spring flowers????  The reverse holds in this case,  if buyers are looking at your internet photos NOW (when there has been a foot of snow on the ground for the past month),  those great curb appeal shots taken in the summer are now screaming “been on the market for months!”.

Holiday door wreathStagers:  Yes, we are visual beings by nature and many are now offering holiday decorating services.  Again, think ahead.  If the home remotely has a chance of being put on the market in the next 6 weeks, cautiously advise your home owners about the amount that might be used in decorating and not going overboard.  I once Staged a house just before the holidays in an “autumn theme” (pears, pumpkins, fall colors, etc) only to have the LREA bring in a full X-mas tree to make it look “more festive“…..  in a highly demographically Jewish community.  Our job as Stagers is to ensure the home is marketable to the general population, and always remember those all important before and after shots.  You don’t want all your after shots to be holiday themed to show prospective clients “this is what I can do!” when it’s the 4th of July.

I’m NOT a scrooge, I LOVE the holidays – but as professionals we need to think and plan ahead.


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Home Staging the Los Angeles and Ventura Counties

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