The end of the year is a busy time for many, which makes the holiday season a slower time for real estate, at least compared to spring. So, when a potential buyer shows up to view your home, you know they are truly looking to buy. The holidays are great time to stage a home because it is the time of year that evokes feelings of family, friendship, and togetherness. There are many decorative touches you can add to the home during the holiday season that can help the buyer envision themselves in your home making their own warm memories.
Staging your home during the holidays can be tricky. Although you may have the best intentions with your holiday decorations, it can be easy to overdo it. You could distract the homebuyer with your winter wonderland and detract from your home’s best, most sellable features. This is why the word for holiday home staging is restraint. Your idea of the perfect holiday home may not be someone else’s.
While staging a home during any time of year, you should always remember to keep the home clean and free of clutter, but here are some additional things to consider during the holidays:
Beware of clashing styles. Remember, your holiday decorating should complement the current look and feel of your home, not stick out like a sore thumb and take away from your home’s usual charms. If your regular décor has a rustic feel, go with pine cone and holly centerpieces, handmade wreaths, and other natural touches. If your home is modern in style, glass ornaments, white candles, and even that softly glowing LED reindeer should fit in just fine.
Use decorations to accentuate unique features. Holiday time provides the perfect excuse to call attention to a unique selling feature in your home. If you have a loft, decorate the railing with soft holiday lights and really showcase it. Hang decorative bells or even mistletoe from a stylish archway. String garland along the top of an elegant French door. Take the opportunity to make the most interesting aspects of your home really stand out.
Make each room alive with the season. There are subtle ways to get the home buyer to place themselves in each room during holiday time. In the living room, have the fireplace going. You can even place a blanket on the couch with a book and glass of cider on the table in front of it. In the kitchen, set the table the way you would for a holiday family meal. Put slippers at the edge of the bed in the bedroom. These simple touches will have your potential buyers imagining themselves inhabiting these little scenes.
Leave out some of the personal nostalgia. Holiday decorations can become a hodgepodge of mixed and matched tsotchkes collected over many years. So, there tend to be many things we place or hang during the holidays out of sheer nostalgia, no matter how tacky or poor the condition. Great grandma’s old, yellowed, chipped Snowman that twirls and plays music when you wind it up may bring you back to your childhood, but to the unfamiliar, it may look like junk. (No offense, Grammy! We’ll put it right back up in the new house!) So, when staging your home at holiday time, sometimes it is best to leave personal emotions out, and only put out your best looking pieces.
Get festive outside too. In the winter, there are fewer daylight hours. So, your potential buyer will likely see your home in low light or darkness. Regular outdoor lights should be kept on to help buyers see the lay of the land. Festive holiday lights lining the roof will really help a buyer envision the shape of the home. If your roof has an exaggerated pitch, lights are an outstanding way to show off this desirable feature. Remember to just use enough lights to accentuate your home’s architecture. You want a buyer to see the home’s appeal, which they can’t do if blinded by a million watts of holiday cheer.
Consider non-religious decorations. The end of the year is an important time for many religions, so religious iconography and symbols are unavoidable. A Christmas tree and menorah are common sights for most of us, but there is a fine line that can be crossed where a potential buyer could feel put off by an overload of religious decorations. It is a good idea to stage a home with plenty of non-religious décor to create balance. Remember, the easier a potential buyer can envision themselves in your home, the better your chances are for a sale.
Staging a home during the holiday season is a way to really grab a potential buyer in a personal, emotional way that simply can’t be done in other parts of the year. Take advantage of the loving, giving spirit of the season, make sure to practice a little decorative restraint, and you just may receive the biggest gift of the year – a sold home.