Holiday Decorating When Selling Your Home
Here we are at that time of year again. The Thanksgiving leftovers are gone and the blitz of shopping has commenced. I was in Target this past weekend, strolling through the Christmas section, hoping that I would not run into any home sellers buying a giant snowman for their front yard.
Why, you ask? Because while holiday decorating is fun and festive, too much can leave buyers unable to picture themselves at home in your house – not exactly the tone you want to set when selling. Not everyone has the same beliefs and customs that you do and your job, when selling, is to make your home appeal to as many potential buyers as possible, including the ones that do not observe Christmas.
When I sold my last home, I deliberately waited until after the holidays to put it on the market. Showing activity slows down dramatically the closer you get to Christmas, and yes, I know that the buyers that are looking at this time of year are motivated. They are also bargain shopping, assuming that sellers absolutely have to sell if they are on the market at this time of year.
If you must have your home on the market and you insist on decorating for the holidays, here are a some dos and don’ts to keep in mind:
Don’t fill the front yard with inflatable snowmen, 8 mechanical reindeer, Santa’s workshop and a blow up globe filled with penguins ice skating in the snow. Remember all of those lectures we’ve given you about the importance of curb appeal? This is not what we had in mind.
Don’t be sucked into the newest trend of blinking, strobing LED Christmas lights…unless you really want your house to resemble a dance club on techno night.
Don’t put out the musical holiday door mat that yells HO HO HO when anyone steps on it. It scares the bejesus out of Terri when she’s showing houses.
Don’t buy the biggest tree that you can push, pull and cram into the door…unless you really want your living room to resemble the Grinch’s heart and look two sizes too small.
Don’t cover every inch of every end table, coffee table and bookshelf with your collection of international Santas. They are almost as creepy as that room full of dolls with eyes that follow us everywhere.
Don’t ring your tree with your heirloom train set unless you want to get that phone call from your agent asking if you can find replacement parts on eBay.
Do use fresh greenery to decorate. It’s simple, tasteful and makes the house smell good.
Do set out a plate of cookies for potential buyers to make them feel welcome. Leave a small card to let them know they can help themselves (don’t forget napkins!).
Do use pretty wrapping paper with matching bows to make your gifts part of your home staging. Color coordinating your packages and ribbons may seem a little too Martha Stewart for you, but it makes an impression on buyers that carries over to their perception of how you have maintained your home.
Do remember to turn on some quiet background music before leaving for a showing. Light jazz or classical is perfect, but if you want to play holiday music be sure that it’s instrumental.
Do consider a smaller tree this year with fewer ornaments. Remove a piece of furniture to create space for the tree and avoid making the room feel cramped.
Do remember that your knick knacks can be attractive to small children when they are visiting with their parents. Put away anything that you would be heartbroken to lose.
More staging tips
Home selling tips
- Why Do An Inspection Before Selling Your Home
- A Home Improvement That Pays for Itself
- Selling Tips for Vacant Homes
If you are in the market to buy or sell a home in New Orleans, please call us at 504-327-5303. With dedicated listing and buyer agents who believe that buying and selling a home can be fun, it would be our pleasure to help you with any of your real estate needs.