It’s that time of year again, when your neighborhood, maybe even your home turns into a festive display of holiday decor, but there is a fine line between tasteful and cluttered. Welcoming buyers into a home for sale covered in holiday decor with a life-size santa or an overload of string lights in the front yard isn’t something most buyers want to necessarily come home to.
Sometimes it’s hard enough to get sellers to agree to remove certain objects or tone down accessories in their home or front yard. So when it comes time to decorate with ghosts and goblins around Halloween, gourds at Thanksgiving, or put out the menorah or Christmas lights and trees in December, how can you show off your holiday spirit without going overboard or offending buyers?
In many cases a buyer will get distracted with the holiday decor and overlook the curb appeal. While holidays like Thanksgiving and New Years are celebrated by most, Hanukkah and Christmas are religious holidays that buyers could discriminate against.
It’s important for sellers to consider the neighborhood they live in before decorating. If a neighborhood is festive during Christmas, then a buyer would expect Christmas decorations in the home for sale. On the other hand, if the home is in a more politically correct neighborhood with a mix of religious beliefs, use more generic decorations to promote season’s greetings rather than a specific holiday.
Some sellers may feel it’s easier to take a home off the market during this time of year, but can you afford to lose those months? Keeping a home on the market can be beneficial because there is usually less inventory, and those looking to buy are serious. If the plan is to keep that “for sale” sign up during the holidays, make sure to limit decorations to get a maximum return on a home’s investment.
Here are some tips to keep the home festive despite being on the market.
During staging it’s important to make focal points stand out, so don’t block or cover up fireplaces, stairs, stained-glass windows and any other features that are unique to the home.
Rooms filled with decorations can feel smaller and will stop the buyer from visualizing themselves in the space. Choose specific areas to stage with festive themes. We want buyers to see themselves celebrating their holidays in the house – to do this create a simple, clean, cozy space with decorations.
Though as a seller you may not be able to decorate as they would like to this holiday season, you can still celebrate those traditions, take part in holiday activities (on or off the property) and show off your holiday spirit by welcoming buyers into what can potentially be their new home. We’re holding an online holiday home decor class this November that will help you create a show-worthy home for buyers or guests. If you have a question about selling your home this holiday season, please leave me a comment below.