How to Decorate Your Home for the Holidays When It's On the Market

Verani Realty

Front door of house with holiday lightsThe holiday season has begun, and so has the home decorating.  Perhaps you always take holiday decorating to an elevated level – making your home the brightest, most noticeable house on the block. If your home is on the market, should you still be decorating and lighting up the neighborhood? The short answer is yes, but with some moderation.

When selling your house, holiday decorations should be kept classic and conservative. In other words, leave the inflatable Santa in storage this year and string up those white lights that make your front porch look like a scene from a Currier and Ives greeting card instead. When done correctly, holiday decorations can create that homey, warm feeling potential buyers want when they see your property.

Here are some tips to getting it right:

  • Stay clear of large, light-up inflatable decorations.
  • Keep lights simple. Accent your front entryway and perhaps a few shrubs with string lights, but keep it classic-looking and not too bright. Also, have lights on steady-burn settings - blinking lights can be a distraction from your holiday curb appeal.
  • Decorate entry doors with seasonal wreaths. Nothing says “welcome home for the holidays” like a fresh holiday wreath
  • Add new welcome mats outside your door. You home should be welcoming from the moment that buyers prepare to enter.
  • If putting up a Christmas tree is your tradition, keep in mind its placement and size. For example, if you cut a fresh tree each year, this might be the year to choose a tree that is less full than you might normally choose to avoid overwhelming the room or making your house feel smaller.
  • When decorating the inside of your home, the basic rule of “keep it simple” still applies. Taking out too many holiday knick-knacks and stringing a lot of garland could make the home feel cluttered. You want to create a comfortable, warm, holiday atmosphere without overwhelming the eye of the buyer or making the home feel cluttered and small.
  • Add pops of color. For example, if your living room is done in neutral colors (a great idea if you are selling), add a couple of colorful accent pillows to your sofa or a cozy, colorful winter-themed throw (red is perfect). This gives a little burst of color and creates a visual where buyers can picture themselves curling up there on a cold winter’s night. 

Selling your house can make you worry about how well your home will be received by buyers, and if the holiday season will impact that important first impression. But, it doesn’t mean you should alter all traditions during the holidays – in fact, you can use the holiday season to showcase your home’s assets and create a “home for the holidays” feel. When in doubt, ask your real estate professional for advice about what will help your home show beautifully this holiday season.

Visit the Home Selling section of our blog for more tips on staging. 

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