SELLING HOME OVER HOLIDAYS MAY YIELD UNEXPECTED GIFT

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I know a lot of you have your homes on the market and are getting frustrated. It is really a buyer’s market right now and that is so difficult when you are the seller.

I have some good news though. This can be a great time to have your home for sale. With the holidays coming, a lot of sellers will be pulling their homes off the market. At this time of year the buyers are typically very serious. So if you can stick it out and keep your home on the market, you might be pleasantly surprised.

If you are going to keep your house for sale, you need to find a way to differentiate your home from the other ones out there. You are marketing a product and you need to show buyers why they should pick your product instead of the others out there.

Lowering your asking price should not be the tool you aspire to use. There are some simple ways to make your home look wonderful without spending a lot of money. Keep in mind that making your home look great to buyers is very different from decorating it for day-to-day living.

The first thing you need to do is make sure every room has a purpose and a simple furniture layout. Make sure that your furniture is not covering fireplaces or blocking doorways. Also, try to avoid setting rooms up with the focal point being a television. Ideally, less is more with furniture when you are selling so if there are pieces you are getting rid of anyway, you might as well do it now.

The second step is to really to eliminate clutter. I know you are thinking “I do not have any clutter,” but you do. Take magnets off your fridge and remove appliances, knife sets, etc. off your countertops. Take your makeup and perfume collections off the counter in the bathroom. Also eliminate magazine and other collections from rooms. The less you have in a room, and on your surfaces, the more open the room will appear and the better able the buyer will be to actually look at the room and not your stuff.

The next step is to dress your home up. Think about how model homes look. They are nicely put together and generic enough that they appeal to everyone. Replace family pictures, religious icons, and other ethnic items with other art. I know this is difficult, but the point is to make your home somewhere where buyers can picture themselves living. If they are not from your country or are of a different religion, these items can throw them off.

Also, fluff your sofa cushions and pillows, make sure your bed is very neatly made and consider setting the dining room table as if you were having company. Maybe drape a throw over the corner of your sofa. Make sure your closets are neat and try to take as much out of them as possible. The same goes for kitchen cabinets.

In this market sellers are getting creative, and to compete you need to do the same. Remember, you are setting the stage for the buyer to think about what their life would be like in your home. Be as elaborate as possible and focus on the little details that will make your home special.

Julie Chrissis is a professional home stager and interior decorator based in Nashua and Malden, Mass. She can reached at julie@bostonstaginggroup.com