Housing 101

Dressing Your Home For Sale

A story from December, but with an all year moral.

Realtor’s tend to work what seems like all the time. So today was no different for me. It was kind of cool to see the transformation of store fronts and town Main Streets from Wednesday night  to Friday morning. The greens, the bows, candy canes and lights, they were everywhere. As I drove through neighborhoods, people were decorating the fronts of their homes and their yards and their cars and, well it seemed like about anything they could.

As I drove down one particular street I had a moment; you know, the one when you say out loud, not realizing it, “What are they thinking?”  The client that was in my car looked at me and said, “Do they really think they are going to sell that house looking like that?”

There you had it; an unbiased observation. The home had a For Sale Sign out front. It also had half a dozen blow up figures that included an animated snow globe, lights, that at night might have looked ok but, during the day, looked like black yarn had been thrown everywhere and to “top it all off”, someone on the roof was trying to attached a sled with all the trimmings, including Rudolph.

Now, let me make this clear, I would never tell anyone how to celebrate the holidays. But, if you are selling your home and it is during the holiday season I tell my clients, please keep it simple. I know we all have our traditions; we want to put out all the keepsakes and the memories that remind us of growing up or even more importantly our children growing up; all the more reason not to and I will tell you why.

First, one of the things you want people to be able to do is picture themselves living in your home. The more stuff there is around, the less likely that is. It’s hard enough to do this on normal days.  Next, we all feel that pressure to keep the house up all the time when selling, just in case “the” buyer wants to see it that day. The more decorating and display, the more work for you.  Lastly, accidents happen. The more things that are out, the more likely something will get knocked over, little hands might pick up and drop or any host of other things. Aunt Tilly’s porcelain dove is 80 years old and can never be replaced so why take the chance?

So rule of thumb is Keep It Simple; inside AND out.

Oh, and if you’re looking to make the house smell like holiday time may I suggest fresh baked cookies, or a candle that smells like it, versus a pine scented one? Pine can be harsh to some people and make them rush through the showing. On the other hand, I’ve never seen anyone run from a warm cookie

By Cindy Penkoff

As a sales person for the past 30 years, I have sold everything from candles to cars. I know that helping people to pick out what best shows their personality is the key to a happy client, whether it is their favorite scent or the overstuffed chair that will have a home in the family room for many years to come. I carry with me the experience and challenge of making sure every client feels at home. I chose Real Estate as a career as it combines my affinity for people, homes and the process of bringing the two of them together. With a natural love of form and function, color and texture and the ability to see things for what they can be, I find it easy to combine my talents to help my clients find the home they’ve been dreaming of or helping those that wish to sell their homes and move on to their next adventure. Although I wouldn't be considered a "seasoned" agent, I feel like I have been doing this my whole life. Add to that the experience of being the assistant to a million dollar producer, my clients get the best of all worlds. Someone who looks at things with a fresh eye as well as someone who has the knowledge to walk them down the road of what can sometimes be a stressful experience My husband and I have been together for 25 years and have a 14 year old son. We live in Trumbull where I sit on the Board of Finance. I believe in giving back. I volunteer as much as possible and have been known to juggle many balls at once. Nothing makes me happier than at the end of a project, seeing the joy it creates. I love my job, my family, my dogs and my country.

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