Tis the season to spend time with your family and friends and drive around admiring the beautiful sights and sounds of the holidays. In our area you can catch a few spots where one can really enjoy the season: Festival of Lights at Stone Hedge Golf Course and the Holiday Light Spectacular at Nay Aug Park, immediately come to mind. Having said that, if your home is listed for sale, it should not exude Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or Festivus, for that matter.
As a general rule of thumb, you want to keep it simple and stage your home appropriately regardless of what season of the year it happens to be.
Here are six ways you can spruce up your home in the spirit of the holidays without scaring off potential buyers:
Thefts are typically on the rise come the holiday time and packages have their way of disappearing if you aren’t careful. Have packages delivered to the office (place of work) or an alternative address where you know someone will be to retrieve the shipment. You don’t want these packages lying around your home during showings either. Lock them away somewhere safe during showings or open houses.
Skip The Curbside Fanfare
Avoid the gaudiness that can come with the holiday season. You know what can turn off homebuyers – inflatables (especially the ones with those noisy fans), plastic Santas, large signs (which don’t consist of your real estate agency’s information) or anything that might be more fitting on the Las Vegas Strip than in your neighborhood. Curb appeal is critically important for getting buyers into your home, even in December.
Classic white lights are always warm and welcoming to guests who enter your home during the holiday season. The old home staging adage “less is more” is very appropriate for home decorating in addition to decluttering throughout the year. This goes for lights both outside and inside the listing. Don’t get tangled and bogged down with the frantic pace of the season – slow things down and keep it simple. Use less lights.
Trees Are Your Enemy
Christmas/Hanukkah trees can be majestic and enhance the overall holiday experience for families, but unless you have a grand foyer with high ceilings that really displays what the room was created for, the tree should be brushed aside while your home is on the market. This is particularly true if you favor living trees over artificial ones. Living trees can introduce mold spores into the air affecting buyers and they can be a mess to clean. Also, keep in mind any tree, if it’s large enough, can make a room appear smaller to a potential buyer.
Don’t wrap your home in an ugly Christmas sweater this year! Hide those holiday cards (don’t display them on the fireplace mantel), keep those named stockings at bay and be mindful of how buyers might perceive your decorations. Regardless of the time or season, a homeowner’s personal artifacts should fade to the background or disappear altogether when the home is for sale. More on depersonalizing your space here.
Lean On Aromas & Ambience
Tune into any Hallmark Christmas movie and you know what works when it comes time to selling during the holidays. The smell of baked goods or hot chocolate or warm apple cider with mulling spices comes to mind. The warmth of a burning fireplace or wood-burning stove can be inviting as well. Celebrate your religious background with color, candles and the like. It’s important to create a sense of the season without the over-the-top decorations which can easily invade your home.
These are six ways that you can keep the holidays in check. It’s important to be able to celebrate the season, while not detracting from a homebuyer’s experience. A potential purchaser needs to be able to use their imagination to foresee himself/herself living there. This December, deck your halls, but do it right!