Thinking of Selling Your House the First of The Year? Don’t wait until then to start preparing!

Home Stager with Just Perfect! Home Staging & More

[This blog was tagging off of my last blog and was November's exerpt for  Again, it's a little late, but could still benefit sellers with Christmas gifts and packing up after Christmas! :) ]


So, last month, I talked about some things to consider when decorating your home for the holidays while it’s for sale.  I hope that helped some of you guys.  Now, for those of you who haven’t put your house on the market yet, but are planning to the first of the year… let me give you some tips that can make the holiday season and decor work to your advantage!

First of all, your house isn’t for sale yet, so it’s okay for you to go overboard!  Go ahead, deck the halls!  As you’re doing so, you will usually pack away some of your every-day things during the season to make room for the holiday pieces.  This year, as you pack things away, consider whether you really need them on a day to day basis, and the things you don’t, pack separate from the rest.  This simple step will already get you started in preparing you home for sale.

packingSince you’re in the process, consider taking this a step further, and go ahead through your entire house, and look at things you don’t normally pack away for the holidays.  Continue thinking the same thing about whether you’ll really need things, or if you could make due without them for several months. 

Things you may need, but not often, pack separately also.  Label them so that when they go into storage, you can keep them at the front for easy access.

Now you have just done a huge part of the preparation process!

Once the holidays are over, and you’re taking down the greenery and lights… go ahead and also take down any hardware and hooks you have them hung with.  Patch the holes, and you’ve just knocked another thing off your list!

When you’re packing your holiday decor - pack it for storage.  You might as well go ahead and take care of this now while you’re in the middle of it.  You won’t need it for another year, and hopefully you’ll be decorating your new house then!

On your Wish List, consider asking for gift certificates to home improvement stores.  These gifts can become an even bigger gift because they’ll help you get your house ready for a quick sale and high return.  Paint and painting materials are often needed, things to make any minor repairs that may be required…  but here’s my favorite - ask for them to lend you a hand!  Do you remember when you were a kid, or if you have kids - them giving gift certificates for a hug, or a day with mom, etc?  Something like this from your friends or family would be a great gift idea for you to suggest - then when you’re ready to get down to business with preparing your house for sale in the new year, you can pull them out and call on them - without feeling guilty!

So enjoy the season, and as you’re in the middle of packing things away just consider how you can use this to your advantage.  You’ll need to do it eventually anyway.  Taking a little extra time now will save a lot of time later.

Comments (22)

Lori Mode
The Mode Real Estate Group - Elk Grove, CA
Real Estate Made Simple

Jessica - great tips for those homeowners thinking of putting their homes on the market come January.  I have 2 of these myself...will be going ont the market January 2nd  I love the idea of the gift certificate for friends and family to lend a hand!

Dec 21, 2010 02:48 AM
Jessica Pirone
Just Perfect! Home Staging & More - Wilmington, NC

Thanks Cynthia and Lori/Bruce!  Hope some of the ideas help your clients!

Dec 21, 2010 03:00 AM
Jeff Lundquist
United Country Premier Real Estate - Annandale, MN
Jeff Lundquist

Excellent ideas for the homeowner who is getting ready to sell. We have several listings coming on the first part of the year. I will use this list, thanks.

Dec 21, 2010 03:01 AM
Melissa Marro
Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team - Orange Park, FL
Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging

The offer to help is a great gift giving idea - even if you aren't moving.  So often there are so many things that we need to get done.  Money is tight for a lot of people these days and the help can be a way to give a gift that is truely needed without having to spend a penny!

Dec 21, 2010 03:06 AM
Bryan Robertson
Los Altos, CA

I tell every client that I need at least 30 days to get their home ready for the market, under ideal conditions.  Why?  Because it takes time to clean up, stage, photograph, create the marketing, get inspections completed, and get it all organized.

Dec 21, 2010 03:08 AM
Jessica Pirone
Just Perfect! Home Staging & More - Wilmington, NC

That's great Jeff! 

Melissa, I know - and the help sure means a lot! 

Bryan, that is the absolute truth.  We have some clients that miraculously get it all done in a few days, but expectations are often cloudy here.  Agents in our area push for the home to be up on MLS in days if not immediately, and it is hard to get everyone on board with the fact that it can't be done overnight - to truly prepare it for sale properly, you do usually need some time.  I like that you set that expectation upfront!

Dec 21, 2010 03:19 AM
Jordon Wheeler
The Jordon Wheeler Group - Fairburn, GA
J W Group Real Estate Sales and Service
Jessica - thank you for some great advice for sellers. I will use this information to assist my future sellers. Best of success to you in 2011!
Dec 21, 2010 06:43 PM
The ATC Properties Team
Keller Williams Realty West Monmouth - Rumson, NJ

#1 Tip - DE-CLUTTER. 

Thanks for the rest of the good advice. 

Dec 21, 2010 10:19 PM
Patricia Aulson
Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes

All good information here in your post today. Thanks for getting it out to us today on AR


Patricia/Seacoast NH & ME

Dec 22, 2010 12:09 AM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Jessica, good tips and a systematic approach for getting ready to market a home after the holidays.

Dec 22, 2010 12:34 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

There seems to be a degree of momentum in our market right now !!!! We should get off to a good 2011 !!!

Dec 22, 2010 12:35 AM
Broker Nick
South Florida Real Estate & Development, Inc. - Coconut Creek, FL
Broker Nick Relocation Broker Service

I guess people need to hear this over and over - glad you put it in the right words - congrats on the well deserved feature!

Dec 22, 2010 12:35 AM
Aaron Seekford
Arlington Realty, Inc. - Arlington, VA
Ranked Top 1% Nationwide 703-836-6116

I like the idea of gift certificates--it sure beats another sweater and will help get that house SOLD!

Dec 22, 2010 12:49 AM
Monica Foster
Monica Foster Team of eXp Realty - League City, TX


Those are really great tips!  I particularly like the gift certificate one, because those are things that are useful in preparing the house to be listed.  I also like the idea of packing a separate box for items that are used, but not as often.  Thanks for posting!!

Dec 22, 2010 01:06 AM
Dub Walters
Real America - Newnan, GA

Good advice about the Christmas decorations. I have seen too many homes listed for sale with way too many decorations up.

Dec 22, 2010 01:25 AM
Jonathan Kauffmann
Jonathan Kauffmann, Principal Broker of Nest Realty - Crozet, VA

Very true.  Getting your home ready to sell takes months...not days.  One thing we do at Nest Realty is to get pictures taken of the exterior of the house before the leaves all fall off.  That way, when the home goes on in February, the exterior looks a little more attractive in the MLS. 

Dec 22, 2010 01:26 AM
Jessica Pirone
Just Perfect! Home Staging & More - Wilmington, NC

Wow!  Thank you all for your response on this! I am so glad that you guys are finding it helpful for your clients and hope it makes things easier for both you and them as they start the process.  Here's to us all having a fabulously successful 2011! 


Nicholas - thanks so much for mentioning this got featured! I had no idea! :)

Dec 22, 2010 01:42 AM
Brent Wells
The LivingWell Team - Prosper, TX
Real Estate Broker serving all of North DFW


Very nice ideas. Anyone who tells my wife to 'go ahead and decorate' is flat out her new best friend. There is more Christmas Spirit in my house than at the North Pole. I think your ideas are a wonderful way to get clients into the right frame of mind to start decluttering.


Dec 22, 2010 02:09 AM
Lane Rogers & Patricia Zars
Z&R Realty - San Antonio, TX
Making Moves. Making a Difference.

Jessica...really good tips!

Dec 22, 2010 09:29 AM
MichelleCherie Carr Crowe .Just Call. 408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years
Great take on "packing for storage" as that is a different thing than packing for next year.
Dec 26, 2010 03:27 PM