Should Home Sellers Decorate for the Holidays?

If you’re selling your home during the holidays you may wonder if you should decorate it, and if so, how. Putting up a few decorations during the holidays will help your home feel warm and inviting. If you tend to cover every surface with decorations, you might go for a lighter touch when your home is for sale. Still, it’s worth the time and effort to decorate your home because:

  • People looking at houses during the cold-weather months are serious buyers.
  • The weekends before Christmas and New Year’s tend to have some of the highest traffic of the year. In fact, December 28th is one of the busiest selling days in the entire year according to
  • There are fewer homes on the market to compete with. Many sellers will wait until after the holidays to list their homes, creating a flooded market and increased competition. (Read more here

My Top Ten tips for Holiday Decorating:

  • Clean your home thoroughly. Before you decorate, clean your home from top to bottom. Regardless of the time of year, one of the first things buyers notice is the cleanliness of your home.
  • Create a cozy feeling. When buyers walk into your home and feel relaxed, they are more likely to take their time in your home which can lead to an offer. Holiday touches like a bowl of pinecones, an evergreen wreath, or a pot of cider simmering on the stove can create a cozy, festive feeling.
  • Use natural, seasonal greenery. A real evergreen wreath on the door with a big red bow is tasteful. So is a real Christmas tree, pine garland on the porch or across a fireplace mantel.
  • Curb appeal is still important. This is where the excitement starts for a buyer! Avoid the twinkling, musical or colorful animated characters on the lawn, front porch or the roof. No blow-up Santas or things that deflate during the day.
  • Don’t eat up square footage. Find a Christmas tree that fits the size of your room – don’t go too big. You don’t want it or the presents underneath taking up valuable floor space and making your home look smaller.
  • Tasteful decorative lights are fine. Lights inside your home can be cozy and festive. It’s best to use white lights or just a couple colors of lighting and to avoid flashing lights. Don’t use a lot of extension cords if you have a lack of outlets. This can be seen as a negative to buyers.
  • Don’t display your holiday greeting cards. They can distract buyers and prevents buyers from “seeing” themselves living in your house.
  • Be wary of displaying presents. The best thing to ensure security is to wrap a few empty boxes, tastefully, and put them under your Christmas tree.
  • Avoid putting up personalized stockings. You can put up a couple of generic stockings, however, avoid personalized stockings and obscuring your fireplace mantel.
  • Be an equal-opportunity decorator.
  • Overtly religious decorations may be off-putting to some buyers. Keep neutrality fore-front so you can attract any type of buyer. If you’re not sure what qualifies, ask me!

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