Selling your home this fall/winter? Some tips to keep in mind

As we enter the closing two months of the year, people interested in putting their house on the real estate market should keep in consideration a few important things that might impact the potential sale of their property.

Obviously, November and December are not hot months for real estate activity in the city as holidays and winter set in. We do enter into some slower months of transactions now.

But for a variety of reasons there are still potential homebuyers out there looking for the right property. If you happen to have your home for sale in those months or are thinking of putting your home on the market, there are some key things to consider.

Elysse Bulloch, of Simply Stylish Staging, says Christmas doesn’t have to be cancelled if you have your home listed for sale.

“But I definitely advise all my clients that we’re not decorating anything seasonal until after those MLS photos are taken,” she says, adding that can point to the potential buyer how long the home has been on the market just by looking at it.

“I would also tell people to put your Christmas cards away. You know how normally you display that? Well, less is always more. So you don’t want to clutter up top with seasonal stuff. And if you’re going to do seasonal decor I think you should stay to a more neutral colour tone. So maybe you don’t do a red/green. Maybe you do gold/silver. And maybe instead of putting out Santa decor and more religious decor you go just a little bit more modern. Something that could just equate to the season but maybe not Christmas or a holiday.”

Part of it is not to overwhelm people with Christmas decorations. Decluttering is always good in selling a home because it brings out the key features you really want to show off in a home rather than have them hidden behind too many things in an abode.

“For example, a Christmas tree takes up a lot of real estate in your home. So that’s why you probably want to go a little bit smaller. Maybe a little bit narrower and maybe not put all of your gifts out like you normally would. Again the more floor you can show a buyer and the more space you can show a buyer the bigger the home will look and feel. So you can’t like fill it all up,” says Bulloch. 

The outside is important too. Curb appeal is critical. And people have to remember that first impressions are key in potentially selling a home. So outside decorations become important in that they should be appealing and accentuate the good qualities of a home’s exterior and its yard rather than overwhelm potential buyers so that they notice the decorations but not the house itself.

“Maybe you just don’t do the inflatable Santa and the snow globe and all the stuff that steals your yard. Maybe you just keep it simple,” says Bulloch. “Buyers want to see the yard and the house. Not how well you decorated for Christmas. They’re so easily distracted and there’s so much to see on the market. You’ve got to really spell it out for them. This is the house that’s for sale. This is what it looks like when you live here not just at Christmas.”

One last thing to keep in mind for anyone with a listing at this time of the year is to make sure your sidewalks and steps are clear of snow and not covered or icy.

“Everyone needs to be safe but it also shows house pride as well,” says Bulloch.