Consider Your Holiday Decorations If Your House is On The Market

CHESTER, N.J. (Dec. 13, 2011) — Holiday decorations done right can help sell a home all year around. But experts say that decorating for the holidays when your home is on the market can be tricky.

Many people feel their homes are at their warmest and most welcoming when the Thanksgiving table is set and awaiting the turkey, or when the December holiday decorations are set up. We counsel our clients to take photos of their home at its best. We also warn them to decorate with care.

When people are shopping for a home, they’re trying to hard to envision themselves living in your home. A beautifully decorated table or a tastefully decorated living room can help them see what a happy place your home could be for their family.

If you’re thinking about putting your home on the market this spring, take some photos of your home in its full holiday décor. Set out photos of holiday celebrations in your home that emphasize the décor. Leave the pictures of the relatives in the drawer.

We also get a lot of questions about how much decorating should be done in a home that is on the market. Those are good questions because holiday decorating and home sales don’t always go hand in hand. Keep in mind that your home must always be at its best and you must be always ready to welcome people into your home.

Here are five thoughts about decorating your home during the holidays:

  • Less can be more

Remember that people are coming to see your home, not your decorations. You want to showcase how roomy your home is. A few things can give your home that holiday feel without making it appear cluttered. Be careful of too many lights and decorations on the outside. Think about a smaller tree that decorates, but doesn’t dominate, the room inside.

  • Avoid messy decorations

Real trees can dry out and drop needles. Aside from being a fire hazard, they are a mess to clean up. Menorahs can drip wax. Stick with decorations that won’t make a mess. If you use candles or menorahs, place a sheet of foil under them so they can be picked up and cleaned up easily. Be careful of decorations that leave a trail of glitter. And stack the wrapped gifts in a corner or put them away in a closet.

Never, by the way, leave candles burning unattended.

  • Keep things somewhat non-denominational

Touchy subject here, but one worth thinking about. Consider keeping your decorations somewhat generic. It’s a very personal decision, but consider these two thoughts. First, like it or not, people bring their preconceptions with them into a home. Decide how much your want to reveal about yourself through your decorations. Second, you want visitors to remember and talk about how beautiful your home was, not the crèche or other intensely religious items.

  •   Some decorations and activities help sell

Decorating wisely can highlight the features of your home. Stockings or candles can highlight a beautiful mantle and a bow or wreath can brighten a doorway.  Centerpieces of pine cones or other winter reminders of nature can highlight a table. Some experts suggest using splashes of red instead of green because red is an emotionally appealing color.

  • Holiday-themed refreshments for visitors

Consider setting out a plate of holiday cookies and festive paper plates and napkins for visitors. Another idea is to simmer spicy apple cider on the stove, which will also fill your home with a delicious scent.

For better or worse, your holiday decorations become part of your sales strategy. As with everything else regarding the sale of your home, you should work with your Realtor. He or she can explain local custom and practices and give you an objective opinion of your decorating. And, as always, if you have questions or need guidance, give us a call.

Whatever you choose to do, we wish you very happy holidays.



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