November and December is the time of year for holiday decorating. Granted, not everyone celebrates Christmas, but for those of us who do, putting up decorations keeps our family traditions alive and it brightens our homes during the shortest days – and darkest months – of the year. But what if you’re trying to sell your home during the holidays? Do you still put up decorations and lights? Absolutely! But keep from going overboard with these few tips for celebrating the holidays while selling your home.
1. Go Light on the Lights. Putting up fewer lights inside and out lets potential buyers see how simpler lighting is still beautiful. First-time buyers will see just how easy it is to start off their decorating on a starter-home budget. They can use their imagination to figure out ways of adding on to their holiday decorations as they live in the house from one year to the next.
2. Keep Decorations Generic and Minimal. Both indoor and outdoor decorations should be kept simple. The fewer the decorations, the better. For one thing, generic and minimal decorations keep your home’s lawn and interior from appearing too cluttered. As with any good staging, the simplified decorating scheme allows potential buyers to imagine their own decorations in the house. Minimal decorating (like removing personal photos and items such as that) also keeps your personal tastes out of the equation.
3. Fill Your Home with Christmas Scents. Most TV real estate shows have demonstrated how pleasant scents work as a selling point. If you’re not a holiday baker, then find someone who is to come in and fill your house with the sweet smell of Christmas. It could be anything from apple pie to gingerbread men or snicker doodles. Or leave a pot of wassail (spiced cider) or warm water with whole spices (cinnamon sticks, candied ginger, cloves, and mace) simmering on the back burner when you know you’re having an open house or when a realtor is bringing people by for tour.
What is the main reason for keeping the decorations and lighting simple when selling your house during the holidays? Un-decorating! If your simplified Christmas decorations have become the selling point for your home, you may just sell your house in a hurry. Which means you need to pack up your belongings – and your decorations – quickly, so you can get moved into your own new home. The less decorations and lights you have to remove, the better, right?
A Word of Warning:
If you live on the same street as someone who goes all-out with their decorations, you might want to hold off on selling your home until after the holidays. There are a few people in neighborhoods near mine that get so carried away with the lights and yard decorations that they draw huge numbers of light-lookers every year driving through the neighborhood.
I have to admit to being one of those who love to look at these holiday lighting masterpieces. I will also tell you up front that if I was looking for a house during the holiday season, and found a house near one of these killer kilowatt creations that I would not buy that house because of the traffic nightmare – even if I would have found it a top contender otherwise. Guaranteed there are other out there who feel the same way
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