Decorating for the Holidays

Many of my clients, whom are preparing their homes for sale wonder if they can still decorate for the holidays.  Of course-a tastefully and moderately decorated home during the Holidays shows to the buyer your pride in ownership.

BUT, when your home is listed for sale, the key is to edit the amount and type of decorations that are on display.  When we are selling a home, we aim to be as free of clutter and excess items as possible in order to maximize available floor-space in the buyer’s eyes. Keep this in mind when decorating.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

1. Ensure that your home can be seen from the street.  A candy cane lit sidewalk provides a grand entrance, but too many lawn decorations can distract from the house and property.

2. Ensure that any strings of lights you have on your home’s exterior are in good working order and hung neatly.

3. Have those exterior lights on in the evenings, as it makes your home stand out, and lights up the walk to your front door. This welcomes buyers and makes your address more visible at night.

4. A nice festive wreath hanging on your door-exterior is nice and decorative. Holly berries (real or fake) add a nice pop of red.

5. A Holiday-appropriate “Welcome Mat” outside the front door is a nice touch.

6. Inside, remember that the most important, longest lasting first impression is made on the buyer as soon as they open that front door. Be mindful to not over-fill that front area too many with decorations.

7. If your home is open-concept, ensure you are not blocking the views.

8. If you are putting up a tree, try to choose the LEAST filled space in the house to erect your Tree.

9. Remember that buyers are interested in buying your house, not your “stuff”. So, ensure that you have not completely disguised/masked/covered-up your architectural features with decorations. Many people end up doing this with fireplaces. Avoid this.

10. Also avoid putting up stickers or glass-art on your windows, or hanging tinsel/garland from structural features. Keep decorations to furniture surfaces as much as possible.

11. Remember that flow, or ease of movement, within rooms and throughout the home is very important to buyers. Try to keep decorations contained to avoid blocking pathways.

12. Avoid the use of too many colours with your decorations. Using more than 2 or 3 main colours is simply distracting and is visually cluttered.

13. Also avoid the over-use of conflicting patterns in decorations as this distracts buyers as well.

14. Try to keep gift-wrapping supplies contained to one area in your home, and tuck it away for showings.

15. Beware of using tinsel, as it gets everywhere and can cause buyers to wonder about cleanliness.

16. To avoid being too personalized in your home, avoid the urge to display all Holiday Greeting Cards you receive from loved ones. They look messy and are distracting to a buyer.


Gary Chambers

Gary Chambers

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