Halloween is a fun time of year for children and adults alike and there are so many great activities in the area. In the past week alone I visited a pumpkin patch in Woodland Hills, a Halloween decoration unveiling for a client in West Hills and real estate office pumpkin give away. I also made my way through the Calabasas pumpkin festival. As I walked through the Calabasas festival I noticed a few real estate related booths giving away candy and it reminded me what a festive time of year this is for home selling. I don’t mean that it’s a fun time to have a booth at a local festival but it is a fun time to show homes. It is also a great time of year to create a warm and cozy feeling in your home which is a great tool for selling homes. While it is true that less clutter is generally better when selling and that personal items give people certain impressions, there is something very warm about a nicely decorated family home. Every realtor suggests staging your home for sale in some fashion but during the holidays I think a nicely decorated home is the best staging of all. We met with a client in Woodland Hills this week who will be selling their home in November due to job relocation. They asked me about the comps in Woodland Hills and what I thought the market would be like that time of year. They were concerned about slow fall sales or that people would be too distracted by holidays. When I showed them that there were currently only 2 comparable homes within several miles of their property they became far more encouraged. We discussed how the light supply would be perfect for getting serious buyers through the door. Then I complimented them on the beautiful and tasteful decorations that their family proudly displayed throughout the home and yard. Their idea was to get everything cleaned up quickly for the sale but what we determined was that the decorating was actually drawing more attention to the home. People slow down when they drive by and people on walks take pictures. Now all we need is a for sale sign! The home would actually draw more interest than it would in the summer time.
Real Estate agents often do some fun things around their open houses on Halloween but let’s not forget that every house is an open house on Halloween. What better way to show off your listing than to make Halloween an interactive sales experience? Maybe we will have the Halloween goodies in the back yard this year and bring the guests through the home to retrieve them. Show the world what a great place it is to entertain or set your treats in the gourmet kitchen for all to see.
Halloween is just the beginning of the fun season! Real estate in California gets the benefit of our great weather. No one is skipping out on home shopping because of snow storms or sub zero weather. Show off your house at the times of year when it looks most like a home. Bring out the decorations, bake the cookies, show off the lights and ornaments. Between now and January you have several opportunities to give your house that warm and cozy home feel that buyers will respond to. While a staged vacant home can look sleek and attractive there is still a stale coldness to the practice. Decorate from the heart and warm up your home to sell in the fall. A warm home will make for a hot sale.
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