Archive for December, 2011
The holidays are rapidly approaching and the number one question that I’m asked by home sellers and Stagers during the holidays is: “to decorate or not to decorate?”
There is no question that we all have strong feelings and memories about the holidays, and what sells a home? An emotional connection! Holiday staging done well can help a buyer form that connection faster than you can say gingerbread!
Adding holiday touches to staging just makes sense. Adding subtle touches will invoke memories of Christmas’ past and those yet to come. What stronger connection than an image of the family gathered around a Thanksgiving feast or Yule tide celebration.
Here are my top ten tips for holiday staging:
1. Do not over decorate!! Rather than tons of Christmas stars and angels, subtle decorations such as a glass bowl filled with holiday ornaments used as a centerpiece create a holiday feeling without going overboard. If the home doesn’t sell by Christmas, you simply replace the ornaments with polished rocks, potpourri, shells or small fruit.
2. Do use clear lights around shrubs in the front yard or if there aren’t shrubs add silk weather resistant plants with clear white lights on either side of the front door. Small clear twinkle lights feel festive during the holiday season, but can be used year round.
3. Rather than a fake Christmas tree, add white twinkly lights and ornaments to silk trees inside. This creates an elegant holiday décor that is easily changed once the season is over.
4. Use cinnamon, ginger, spiced apple or other holiday scented candles to fill the home with holiday fragrances. You don’t even need to burn the candles to bring out the aroma of Christmas past!
5. Do not use religious holiday decorations. As you all know decorating is personalizing, staging is de-personalizing. This rule totally applies to holiday decorations. The last thing you want to do is to turn off a prospective buyer because of different religious beliefs.
6. Do add a touch of whimsy to your holiday staging! A tray decorated with a faux glass of milk and Christmas cookies placed on an ottoman or coffee table is bound to bring a smile to your buyers face and evoke nostalgic memories.
7. Do use instrumental holiday music during showings and open houses. Some of my favorites are Windham Hill Holiday Guitar Collection, and all of the Winter Solstice Collection, especially the Silver Anniversary collection. The instrumentals are soothing and appeal to everyone regardless of the holiday they celebrate during the winter months.
8. Bring the outside in. Using fresh evergreen boughs as part of your holiday center piece in the living or dining room adds both a festive and fragrant look!
9. Remember to retake pictures. If the pictures on the MLS, your website or your flyers include holiday decorations, remember to retake and replace them if the home doesn’t sell during the holiday season.
10. The Three C’s of staging: Clean, Color and Clutter free still apply. Keep holiday decorations simple, use colors that compliment the home’s color scheme and keep the home meticulously clean!
Don’t hesitate to put your home on the market during the holiday season. The fact that’s it’s a slower market could work very well in your favor. While there may be few buyers, the ones that are out there are very serious. They want to buy and get in before the end of the year. Plus, while there may be fewer buyers, inventory is also going down, so if your home is priced right and well staged it will easily out shine the competition.
I hope you are looking forward to the holiday season and take time for yourself and your family. Most of the staging tips above apply to your home as well. Keep your holiday decorating simple, even beloved holiday décor can become clutter if you over decorate.
Theme gifts are great, and for you Realtors out there or those of you who have Realtors as friends and clients, consider giving them an “EcoJoe.” This cute little guy is the perfect gift and is available on Amazon.com for only $14.99, or on my website for only $11.99. EcoJoe is an environmentally friendly St. Joseph, who when buried in the yard by the for sale sign, will help to get your home sold!
Do you have specific staging questions? Send me an email or post on my Facebook Fanpage, and I will feature your question with an answer on my weekly radio segment on Chat with Women. I’m on between 8:30 and 8:45 every Wednesday morning on KKNW 1150 AM radio, or you can listen on the wen just go to www.chatwithwomen.com!
Hope you have a happy and safe holiday season!
About the author…
Pam Christensen, APSM is the owner and founder of Staging For Charisma. She is an Accredited Staging Professional Master who specializes in working with investors to help them maximize their return on investment by providing high quality staging that gets results! She is one of only 15 ASPM’s in the state of Washington, in fact, there are under 200 in the Nation! Find Pam at: www.facebook.com/stagingforcharisma.com or visit www.stagingforcharisma.com.
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