Tis the season you’ve been waiting for all year long. Christmas decorating season is here. Tinsel, lights, and candy cane stripes abound…. Unless you’re selling your house. You already know that you should depersonalize and be show ready at all times, but surely that doesn’t apply to Christmas decorations. Or does it? Before you go full Griswold, consider this, the few brave house-hunters who do venture out during the season of good tidings, comfort and joy are serious about buying a house. They aren’t just looking at houses, they are looking to buy a home. Their home. Much like family photos and other heirlooms that are personal to you but distracting for buyers, holiday decorations can make it hard for buyers to picture themselves living in your home.

Selling your home during the Christmas season doesn’t necessarily mean that the Grinch has come to town to steal your Christmas decorating joy, it just means that you can’t decorate the way you have in the past. Here are some tips on how to make your home festive and marketable at the same time:

  1. Holiday decorations should fit the style of the home.If you have a modern home, consider tasteful modern holiday decorations. Selling your home at the beach? Your decorations should reflect this vibe.
  2. Don’t over decorate outside.No twinkling, musical or colorful animated characters on the lawn, front porch or the roof. Now is not the time to compete with Buddy the Elf for the most decorated home.
  3. Consider your tree.Go smaller than you normally would, and if you typically do a real tree- don’t. Consider the hassle of cleaning fallen pine needles and the conundrum of disposal after the holidays should you find your house still on the market.
  4. Light, but don’t mesmerize.Light the way, but don’t blind buyers. It’s okay to use lights, white lights only please, but tasteful and sparingly. Also, beware of extension cords. They’re unsightly and may highlight a lack of outlets, a negative to buyers.
  5. Coordinate your colors .If you must decorate your home for the holiday you celebrate, use traditional colors only—so red and green for Christmas and blue and white or silver for Chanukah.
  6. Put away religious symbols.Nutcrackers, manger scenes and menorahs may be important to you but could be a distraction to buyers. Keep those out for your own personal celebrations but put them away for showings.
  7. Staging still matters.For the holidays, you may simply want to swap out everyday linens for those in your holiday color scheme.
  8. Don’t display holiday greeting cards.They become like family photos—another distraction that prevents buyers from “seeing” themselves living in your house.
  9. Curb appeal continues to count.When it comes to large and elaborate outdoor decorations- especially inflatables- just don’t.
  10. Pump up powder rooms:Place peppermint-scented soaps and candles in the bathrooms along with a few tasteful, holiday-themed towels. They give the rooms some spirit and interest.
  11. Protect presents:Don’t stack gifts under a tree or put them on display. The last thing you want this holiday is for a stranger with sticky fingers to walk away with a present. Lock the presents in your car trunk, especially during an open house.
  12. Choose scents over scenes:The smell of simmering cider or baked cookies will delight the senses more than garlands strung over everything that doesn’t move.

No matter which season you plan to sell your home, Samantha Merritt can offer expert advice and planning to make sure that you sell your home quickly. Contact Samantha now to talk about selling your home.