Are you looking to move house in the New Year?
Has someone told you not to market over Christmas? Nonsense! Sure, the market can be a bit slower at this time of year with fewer active buyers due to the festivities, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to achieve a sale.
Those who are looking at this time of year are actually more likely to be serious and you never know they may make your Christmas wishes come true with an offer!
Our Christmas marketing guide is full of hints and tips to prepare your home for viewings over the festive season.
Preparing your home ready to sell at Christmas doesn’t have to break the bank and doesn’t need to be a hard job. It’s very simply a matter of balance, avoiding clutter and ensuring it’s as visibly attractive as it possibly can be.
Once photographs are out the way there’s no harm in investing in some tasteful decorations and remember, less can be more! Gone are the days where cheap tinsel hangs across the ceiling and Christmas cards litter every possible area of the house.
It’s all about allowing your buyers to envisage your home without too much disarray!
First things first
Ensure photographs are taken before you get the boxes of baubles down from the loft! No matter how fabulous your decorations are they will detract the eye from your lovely home, so leave them in the loft until after the photographer has paid a visit.
Once the photos are done its time to tastefully adorn your home in festive splendor. A nice Christmas wreath on your front door will create kerb appeal and set a great first impression of your home!
The scents of the season
Christmas is the perfect time to get a festive aroma circulating your house with various scented candles that are available including winter berry, mulled wine and spice, but don’t leave them untended!
We suggest you have a quick spray around with a fresh-smelling perfume just before viewers arrive and pop a tumble drier sheet in the bottom of all your bins.
Fresh flowers are always an excellent way of adding a scent to your home too and you can find a wide range of quality seasonal flowers at your local supermarket or florists!
This is something that you could easily overlook when preparing your house for sale. Winter days are short and therefore natural light is usually at a minimum, however, the festive period is all about creating a cosy atmosphere so that your buyers can envisage how next years Christmas may look for them!
Downlighters and table lamps can create a cosy feel in your living room and in bedrooms; up-lighting can add a splash of drama and are great for highlighting any attractive ceiling features.
Light a fire (Or turn the heating on)
A warm home is welcoming – there is nothing more unwelcoming than a cold home if the weather is cold. If you have a real fire or a wood-burner, light it…not only will it will look great in photos, your viewers will love it and there’s nothing better than hearing a real fire crackling away in the background!
Either way, when a prospective buyer walks through the door and it feels warm and comfortable, they are more likely to feel at home.
Winter days can make everything can look dark and dingy, especially if you’ve got darker shades on your walls. We don’t recommend you pick up your paint brush and paint everything a lighter shade, but if you do we would advise a neutral décor that the majority of people will like.
Neutral tones will allow your viewers to have a better chance of seeing themselves and their ‘stuff’ in there. Bold, bright feature walls look fantastic, but are ideally best painted over if your house is up for sale.
This is the ‘heart of the home’ so it needs to look the most attractive it possibly can. If you have a minimal or new kitchen, you may only need to clear worktops and clean all appliances and cupboards.
If, however, your kitchen is a little on the dated side, why not re-paint the cupboards. Painting a dark wooden kitchen a light colour can add instant freshness.
Lighting is another way to show it at its best. Invest in some new tea towels and buy some co-ordinated accessories. Polish your windows and make any stainless-steel shine like a mirror.
Your kitchen should say ‘clean and spotless’.
This must be a comfortable and relaxing space where your viewer can imagine themselves ‘chilling out’ with a cuppa or a glass of wine after a day in the office.
Try to arrange your furniture around the fireplace or another feature, rather than the TV. That way, the TV does not become the focus of the room.
It’s definitely a worthwhile tip, especially for your photography and viewings. A bunch of fresh flowers on the coffee table and a well-chosen magazine will make the photographs look amazing and finish the room off perfectly.
This is something that’s often hard to work on over the winter period so we don’t expect you to have a bowling green flat lawn.
The best way to de-clutter and tidy your garden in the winter is to at least get out there on a dry day (if they exist) and pick the weeds, attempt to trim the grass and hide or throw away any dead flowers or plants.
The autumn will have brought significant leaf-fall, therefore, it’s absolutely worth clearing these. An overgrown winter jungle could be the thing that puts potential buyers off so it’s best to show them that the garden can at least be maintained and is clutter-free.
Before you have your photographs taken, or have a viewing, take a last look at your house with a critical eye. You could even ask a friend or relative to have a look too.
Hide anything that doesn’t improve the look of any room, such as bins or piles of magazines or paperwork. Place a vase of flowers in each downstairs room, and voila! Your home is ready.
Imagine you are viewing your own home, think about what would attract you or put you off making an offer and the address the items that you feel are the quick and easy wins to improve.
It will make all the difference and could be the catalyst that generates an offer from a buyer or prevents a buyer from placing a lower offer than perhaps your property deserves!
Remember, getting your property up for sale now could generate a raft of interest over the Christmas period – potential buyers may be off work and at home with more time to spend browsing the property portals to find their dream home!