There are still home seekers that will look for that perfect new home over the holidays, with the intent of moving into their new space in the New Year. Even though it’s not the most popular time to buy or sell real estate because of everyone’s hectic schedules and cold temperatures, house hunting will still be happening. An HGTV article cites that staging your home for the holidays should be stylish and neutral, giving a vibe of the season without going overboard.
So, what do you do so your home is styled in a festive manner without making it look like a scene from “Christmas Vacation”? The following real estate tips will help, offering ideas for decorating your home and keeping your buyers in the right spirit!
Start with a clean slate. Staging your home, no matter the season, should not be overdone. And before you even unpack that first holiday decoration, make sure to clear out and clean the clutter! Take a look at your house “pre-décor”, and make sure it’s already staged, which means the extra tchotchkes and collections have been put away. If you add your ceramic Christmas tree collection to the mix without cleaning, it will surely look cluttered.
People tend to use all additional spaces in the home when they decorate for holidays, and when staging your home, this isn’t a great idea. You still want the rooms in your home to look as spacious as possible, which means limiting the holiday décor. If you think you may miss your 20 Santa figurines, keep in mind that with a little staging strategy, you’ll be celebrating your nextholiday in a new home…and you can decorate in any way you like!
Holiday flair should be cozy and coordinating. Items like a crystal bowl with pinecones or an evergreen wreath can really spruce up your house. It’s best to also match your existing décor with your holiday style. If you have a dining room painted in a soothing sky blue, stay in harmony with it by opting for white snowflakes or silver-toned ornaments and table coverings. Adding red and green to the mix would clash and not complement. The traditional red and green color scheme works well as accent tones if your room has more earthy colors like forest greens, oranges and golds.
Also, tone down gaudy light displays while your home is on the market. It’s best to use simple string lighting to play up your home’s structure or draw attention to the gorgeous fir tree in your front yard.
Highlight the positive. As stated earlier, too many holiday items scattered throughout the home will distract, but if you add the right accessories in the right spots, it will accent your home’s best features. Think about placement of mistletoe in the arched doorway or displaying your menorah on the ledge of your living room’s bay window. When decorating, just make sure to not block a beautiful view or place cheap-looking window decals that may distract the home buyer from your lovely backyard’s vista. Own a custom fireplace? It may be best to not place 6 personalized stockings over it, taking away from its architectural details.
Neutrality is key. When trying to sell your house, it’s best to leave the life-sized Nativity scene in storage this year as well as multiple blow-ups in the front yard like snow globes with a Santa. Because you want to attract any type of home buyer, it’s best to keep low key décor that isn’t overly religious. You also want to make sure the front yard is safe and not scattered with extension cords to activate the Christmas inflatables. An example of neutral décor may include nutcrackers, reindeer and snowmen.
Trim the tree. If a Christmas tree is in your holiday décor plans, make sure the tree fits your space nicely and not overwhelm it. Have a small living room? Use a skinny tree to save space. When your house is on the market, it also may be best to use cohesive ornaments instead of the mismatched, homemade ones your children made in school. Although those ornaments are sentimental, homebuyers will not understand their significance. Instead, set the stage for a perfect holiday in your home with a tree that looks tailored and tasteful.
Have questions about purchasing a new home in the Metro-east or selling your existing one during the holiday season? Contact me for all of your real estate needs at (618) 978-2384 or email me at Sandie@SandieLaMantia.com.
Every year during the Holiday Season Sellers ask me the same question…Is it ok if I decorate for the Holidays while my home is listed? My answer is yes! However, there are some guidelines you should follow while still presenting your home in the best possible fashion. Homes can look their best during the Holidays and create a warm and comfortable feeling by following the “less is more” rule. Using decorations that are minimal and well placed can be the perfect way to make potential buyers feel welcome.
Less is More
One of the cardinal rules for selling your home at any time of the year is to be clutter free, so don’t get carried away by staging your home with a lot of holiday décor. Keep it simple and put out certain favorite pieces to give your home some holiday cheer.
Downsize Your Tree
Everyone loves a Christmas tree and if you normally look for the largest one in the forest or the tree lot, re-think the size. While a tree is an important part of decorating and adds warmth to the room, it should not take up too much space. Consider downsizing to a smaller tree. Placement is also key, in a corner out of the way or move or remove furniture as needed. Your potential buyer still needs to envision that space as usable family space.
Flameless candles can add a warm and cozy feeling to your home for the holidays. Place them in strategic spots around your house; in a festive centerpiece on the table, the fireplace mantle and even the bathroom and kitchen.
Be Careful with Holiday Scents
Holiday scents can help us conjure up visions of “sugar plums in our head” but they can be overpowering. Avoid using strong pine or heavy spice scents. Try using a subtle cranberry or mild vanilla scent or even baking cookies…the key word is “subtle”.
Curb appeal during the winter Holiday season is as important as any other time of the year. Nights are longer and darker and there is no doubt that lighting is key to help generate an inviting look. Don’t overdo it with too many Holiday lights and avoid using blow up displays in the front yard. Accenting your entry way with a Holiday wreath and a small string of lights is just enough.
Decorating your home for the Holidays while trying to sell is more than acceptable. Think of it as Holiday Staging and remember to keep it neutral but festive for the family, after all you are still living there. Setting the stage for the holidays will help potential buyers to imagine themselves in the same setting, sitting by the fire, drinking a cup of eggnog while enjoying the ambiance of the winter season.
As a licensed Realtor, I know the local market and have first hand experience in what potential buyers look for in our area. Whether you are selling your home, buying your first home, in need of expanding, downsizing or building, I have the experience and knowledge you need.