The fall and holiday season are upon us and in full swing. While it is difficult enough staging a house and keeping it ready for showings during the summer, this time of year can be brutal. Just remember that buyers are also dealing with the same type issues and will hopefully be a little understanding about the leaves that are falling and lack of color in your flower beds.
It is the season for pumpkins and spooky decorations. Those should be kept to a minimal amount. There is a difference between a few pumpkins and gourds, and feeling like you are at a farm stand. The same goes for ghosts and goblins. Some people are not into blood and spiders. Try to keep it simple and that will also make it easier to remove right after Halloween. Do not leave those decorations up.
Thanksgiving time can be a very difficult time to show your home. Especially if you are hosting Thanksgiving and have relatives staying with you. Try to be as flexible as possible. Explain to visitors that there might be showings and any help they can provide, like keeping their own rooms picked up and beds made, would be very helpful. Buyers will understand that you have a house full. Just be sure your Realtor explains to the other Realtor your situation. It is better to show the property and let the buyer see it then to not show it and miss a potential sale. Once Thanksgiving is done, put away all the decorations and extra dishes you probably had to drag out.
Now it's into December and on to Christmas. Keep the decorations to a minimal amount and simple. Lighting your house up like the Griswold's isn't going to help sell it, and it will more than likely hinder the sale. Less clutter and simple lighting will allow buyers to still see the home without tripping over extension cords and blown up snowmen. You also want to do your best with shoveling walkways and even a path around the house if possible. Although buyers cannot see the whole yard, at least they can see how big it is. Hopefully you took plenty of summer photos to show off the green grass and colorful gardens.
Last couple of hints. With the colder weather coming you want to keep your house comfortable for buyers. Leave the heat up during the days you have showings. Cold houses turn buyers away. It's a fact. Also, leave the lights on. This is so the buyers aren't searching for light switches and struggling in the dark. Lastly, if you have a fireplace and can leave it on, then do so. If you cannot leave it on, then you should neatly stack some wood in it as if it were ready to go. Enjoy the holidays and good luck selling this year.
Matthew Trudel is the owner of Five Star Realty, 32 Tandberg Trail in Windham.