By Frank May, Real Estate Agent

As the festive season draws near, there’s a discernible uptick in the housing market. Over recent months, housing inventory has surged from 11,500 to more than 14,000 homes available. While an increase in listings might indicate heightened competition for sellers, it simultaneously ushers in a broader spectrum of potential buyers, which is promising news for the real estate sector.

The Upper West Side stands out, distinguishing itself with a diverse residential palate. Prospective homeowners can choose from a myriad of options, from budget-friendly dwellings to luxurious estates, spanning both resales and brand-new construction.Beyond the home itself, the Upper West Side offers lots of amenities: pristine golf courses, invigorating hiking trails, bustling shopping centers, gourmet restaurants, and a thriving community spirit.

Given the mushrooming housing inventory, it’s evident that buyers are now spoilt for choice. Sellers, therefore, face the challenge—and opportunity—of making their homes particularly enticing.

Safety First When Showcasing Your Home Before allowing any showings. it’s essential to ensure home safety:
• Items at toddler level that are fragile or breakable should be removed to prevent accidents.
• Small packages or valuables that might be pocketed should be securely stored away.
• Gifts waiting to be wrapped should be kept out of sight.
• Cords should be tidily arranged or concealed to eliminate any tripping hazards.

If you happen to be out of town during potential showings:
• Enlist someone to regularly check your doorstep for mail or dropped packages, ensuring your home appears lived in.
• If possible, have someone turn on lights before showings to create a welcoming atmosphere.
• After each showing, ensure a Realtor or trusted individual checks that all doors have been securely locked.

Holiday Home Staging Tips for Maximum Appeal. Staging your home during the holiday season requires a delicate balance:
• Opt for minimalistic decorating. This allows potential buyers to envision the home itself rather than getting distracted by the decorations.
• With the days growing shorter, remove sunshades and window screens to allow in as much natural light as possible.
• Consider augmenting your indoor lighting. Bright rooms are typically more inviting to potential buyers.
• If showcasing a Christmas tree, turn the lights on for added warmth and festivity, but ensure it’s done safely.
• Daytime doesn’t do justice to exterior holiday lights, so it’s wise to keep outdoor decorations subtle.
• Keep main paths and hallways clear of holiday trinkets to maintain a sense of space and ease of movement within the home.
• Adjust the indoor temperature according to the outdoor climate. A warm fireplace or a slightly turned-up thermostat can offer a cozy, inviting atmosphere on colder days.
• For safety reasons, never leave candles burning unattended.

Proactive preparation, both in presentation and safety, is paramount. As the holiday season promises a buoyant market, there’s no better time for homeowners to invest in maximizing their property’s appeal while ensuring a safe environment for all.

Frank May grew up in the Valley, graduating from Northwest Christian School and Northern Arizona University. He is a real estate agent with RE/MAX Fine Properties and has been helping both buyers and sellers for over 20 years. He has been a Dave Ramsey Endorsed Local Provider (ELP) since 2003. Learn more at