To decorate or not to decorate? That seems to be the question of the season. Or at least one that I have encountered enough times that I feel it is blog worthy!
The short and simple answer, YES! Feel free to decorate your home for the holidays. Here are some of my recommendations for how to get your house on every buyers’ wish list:
The Proper Foundation: Is your home normally clean and tidy? Would you consider it to be in a “staged state” prior to your decorating? If so, then adding a few decorations will create a lovely ambiance. However, if your home is cluttered adding additional nick knacks is a big Ho-No (see what I did there?).
Make it Cozy: I don’t mean jam pack the space so that people can’t easily navigate their way through it. Remember, less is always more. BUT the right festive holiday touches can go a long way. Have some cider simmering on the stove, start a fire (ONLY if you have a fireplace), turn on some flameless candles, leave out some cookies, place a great wreath on the front door – and you’ve created an ambiance that will appeal to any buyer!
Complement Existing Décor: Are the colours you are decorating your home consistent with the esthetic of the home? Remember, buyers like consistency. We do not need to be jarring them with opposing colours or designs throughout the home.
Accentuate the Positive: Done right, holiday décor can be used to dress up the key features of a home. Do you have a beautiful fireplace? Then make it stand out as a focal point in a room with beautiful garlands. Or do you have high ceilings? Accent that with a large wreath or other décor.
Go Classic with the Lights: Curb appeal is incredibly important as it creates that (hopefully positive) first impression. Stay away from the large cartoonish inflatables or bright flashing lights. They are too distracting and take away from the home itself. As a side note, I do own an inflatable Christmas Minion that we proudly have in our yard every year. But I would not put it up if our home was for sale. Stick to the more classic white/yellow bulbs placed tastefully along the eavestroughs. It adds a look of sophistication and class.
Decorating the Tree: I would advise against getting a wide and bushy tree. It will make the space feel smaller. Instead opt for a skinnier version, and similar to the point above about complementing your existing décor, keep the tree décor more consistent as well. Stick to three colours or less, and no homemade items. It’s too personal and makes it difficult for the buyer to picture themselves in the home.
A few other points I would like to make for those people that are selling their home this holiday season:
Do your best to keep the home accessible. I do not expect you to be showing on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day (although it has happened), but try and keep the place as neat and tidy as possible so that it is not such a daunting task to entertain a showing request on December 27.
Competition Dries Up: I have found year-after-year that listings that may have been sitting in December all of a sudden sell through in the three weeks following Christmas. Why? Because inventory is SO limited at this time of year. A lot of people seem to take their home off the market during December but that doesn’t mean that buyers stop looking!
Only the Most Serious Buyers: Truthfully. Who actually wants to look at houses during the holidays? Only those buyers who seriously need a place. Whether it be expiring leases or their own home having recently sold or any other combination of unique circumstance, the most serious of buyers are out and looking at this time of year and they tend to be much more decisive and strong in their negotiations.
And finally, DO NOT let selling your home ruin your holiday. Work with your Realtor to determine blackout dates and even visiting hours that are appropriate for you over the holidays. Quite often they can post the schedule in Realtor Remarks so that other Realtors know when they can and can’t show the property. While it is important to keep the home as accessible as possible, it does not have to be to the detriment of your enjoyment of the holidays.
Thank you for reading. I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season filled with love, laughter, family, and friends. And from my family to yours, Merry Christmas!
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