To Decorate or Not to Decorate, that is the Question: Staging Your House for the Holidays

Your house is on the market and the holiday season is here.  Just because you are trying to sell your house doesn’t mean you can’t still make it feel like home.  Especially this time of year.  And let’s face it, unless you’re a Scrooge, twinkle lights and holiday décor make a home feel more inviting and cheerful than ever.  But, when making your home festive for the season,  it is important to remember that buyers need to be able to picture the home as their own. Here are some tips for staging your house for the holidays:
  • Depersonalize your decorations. It’s hard for people to picture a home as their own if they see your personal life prominently featured in your décor. Avoid things like ornaments your kids made in pre-school, stocking with names on them, photo Christmas cards and pictures of your kids with Santa. Keep it simple.  Think of it like makeup…you want to enhance the features of your home, not overwhelm them.
  • Stand out by not standing out. What does your neighborhood look like during the holidays?  If everyone goes all out with exterior lights and trimmings, then you don’t want to be the only house on the block that’s dark at night.  But if people use more subtle decorations outside, follow their lead.  Less is more when it comes to staging your house for buyers.
  • Still confused about how to decorate to most appeal to buyers? Here are some more dos and don’ts: - Say no to the kitsch! Big inflatables, reindeer of the roof and tons of lights might be fun to look at, but it also might keep potential buyers from wanting to see the inside of the house.  Keep it classy to entice buyers. - Classic décor is always best. An elegant wreath and simple white lights are warm and welcoming without being overwhelming. - Consider skipping the tree. Unless you have high ceilings you want to show off, you may want to skip the tree this year.  If a tree is too big it can make a room feel cramped and small. If a tree is too tiny, it can seem sad and depressing.  Also, needles from live trees can be challenging to keep up with when you must keep your house neat and tidy for showings. - Scents over scenes. There’s nothing more alluring than holiday scents. The smells of fresh baked cookies and cinnamon sticks simmering on the stove create a warm ambiance that makes people feel at home. - Weather permitting, light a fire. Create a cozy, warm environment with a roaring fireplace. - Protect your presents. You may not want to have presents under the tree when strangers will be walking through your house, especially if you’re Realtor is holding an open house.  The last thing you want to discover Christmas morning is that someone walked away with one or more of your gifts.
The bottom line is, don’t be afraid to decorate and enjoy the holiday season in your home even if it’s on the market and being shown.  Just remember to keep it simple and enticing to potential buyers.

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