I get asked a lot by Sellers whether or not they should decorate their homes for Christmas. There are all kinds of articles and opinions out there that say you should not decorate for the holidays if your home is listed. As a REALTOR® and Accredited Staging Professional, I really don’t think there’s any harm in decorating for the holidays, but there are a few things to keep in mind.
First of all, I think the Christmas season is a perfect way to showcase to potential buyers just how cozy and warm your home can be for the holidays. Who doesn’t want a home that conveys love, warmth and a sense of family?
The important thing to remember is ‘Less is More’ when it comes to holiday decorations. Just like any other time of year, a clutter free property shows better. Too many decorations can look cluttered and will hinder potential buyers from truly seeing the house through the tinsel and garland.
Here are a few ways you can charm potential buyers while still enjoying the season :
Lighting: With the shorter hours of daylight, it’s important that all lights are on for showings. If necessary, use timers. And of course, a beautifully lit Christmas tree could never turn off a buyer.
Basic Decorations: it’s okay to decorate, but keep it minimal. A nice tree, table centerpiece, a few candles and a wreath on the front door will be more than enough to create a festive ambiance without looking cluttered. I recommend using basic adornments and staying away from religious ones.
Escape from the Cold: Baby, it’s cold outside....ensure the house is warm, inviting buyers in from the cold. No one wants to walk into a cool house, especially when it’s freezing outside. It should be a comfortable temperature; while we don’t want potential buyers to freeze, we also don’t want them to be uncomfortably warm either.
Exterior: Ensure your front driveway and walkway are clear of snow and ice. This isn’t just for staging purposes, it’s for safety reasons too.
Create a cozy feel: and nothing says that like a nice, cozy fire. If you have a fireplace (and it’s safe to do so), leave it on for showings. Leave a little note for the buyers REALTOR® to please turn off the gas fireplace when they leave if you won’t be home soon after the showing.
Leave out some goodies: a small plate of tasty Christmas cookies perhaps? Who doesn't like that?
So go ahead and enjoy the Christmas holiday while your home is listed. Remember, what you love about your home is most likely what potential buyers will love about your home too.