Wondering whether holiday decorations are appropriate when selling your home? Read on for our recommendations.
The Holidays are fast approaching and, contrary to popular belief, this is still a popular season to buy homes. In fact, many buyers have extra pressure to close quickly at this time of year. Holiday home shoppers are often planning on starting a new job or looking to secure financing before the end of the year for tax purposes. Others may have been awaiting a shift in mortgage rates that didn’t happen over the summer, while the rest may simply be looking to be moved in before the cold weather hits.
Whatever the reason, you don’t have to wait until the warmer seasons to list your home. However, if you do decide to sell during the Holidays, there are a few guidelines you will want to consider, especially when it comes to one of the best parts of the Season: decorations.
Holiday Decor on a House for Sale
If you plan on living in your home while it is on the market, you may be wondering if it is all right to put up exterior and interior holiday decorations. The short answer is, “yes.” Generally speaking, tasteful holiday decorations are warm and welcoming-two words that are essential for great curb appeal. You also do not want your home to appear stark compared to any neighbors who have put up decorations. But before you break out the lawn Santa, keep the following in mind:
Keep It Simple
The key to decorating your home for sale during the Holidays is to keep it simple. If you tend to go “all out” at Christmas, for example, you may need to rein it in slightly to avoid overwhelming potential buyers. They still need to be able to visualize the space, and a house with a full-sized replica of Santa’s Workshop might make that somewhat difficult.
Rather than choosing decor that is specifically for one holiday, try to embrace elements that celebrate the season: evergreen garlands, pine cones, and holly sprigs are great options for winter. Uncarved pumpkins and gourds, fall wreaths, and lanterns are appropriate around Halloween and Thanksgiving.
Keep It Secular
You will also need to consider whether or not your usual decor is overtly-religious. While you have the right to celebrate and practice your religion as you see fit, keep in mind that this can be awkward (even insulting) to potential buyers who do not share your faith.
Keep It Timely
If it is more than one month before a holiday, skip the decorations. If it is more than one week past a holiday, the decorations should be removed.
In short, keep holiday decorations neutral and minimal. When in doubt, ask yourself if you would see such a decoration in a public place, such as a shopping mall. If it is too personal or has the potential to dissuade a potential buyer, don’t put it up.
Exterior Lights on Your Home for Sale
Again, holiday lights are perfectly fine, so long as they do not overwhelm potential buyers. And, for your own sanity, it is best to do just a few strands around the edges of the roof or around the beams of the entryway. The last thing you want to do once you’ve sold your home is take down thousands of Christmas lights.
Interior Holiday Decorations and Homes for Sale
You can certainly stage your home for the Holidays using the same reserve as you would for your exterior decor. Choose tasteful and seasonal decor, and keep religious objects to a minimum. A Christmas tree is usually fine, so long as it does not have any overly personal ornaments (like photos).
Avoid putting any presents under the tree, unless they have been professionally pre-wrapped. A simple tree skirt is usually a better option. Make sure to sweep up any fallen needles if your tree is real.
A Word on Candles
Scented candles are beautiful and soothing, but they should never be left burning during a showing. Not only is this a potential hazard, strong smells can deter potential buyers. If you want to scent the home, you can use a wax warmer or diffuser with universally appealing smells, like lavender or vanilla.
Other Holiday Considerations for Selling a Home
Make sure your house is accessible during the colder months by removing any snow and ice along the pathway and in the driveway. Dust off your “Welcome’ mat and knock down any dangerous icicles.
Likewise, if it is Fall and you have deciduous trees, rake up fallen leaves and branches before a showing.
Ready to List Your House in Colorado?
Ready to sell your home in Colorado this winter? Contact Brenda Kellogg Meyer. Brenda has years of experience and a professional team of photographers, stagers, and more to help sell your home quickly and at the best price. Call or go online today to get started.