"Selling a home during the holidays." Just saying those words garners a special sort of sympathy ... homes don't traditionally move quickly in late Q4, how in the world do you keep your house clean with the extra layer of holiday "clutter", and lastly (and most importantly to someone who counts the days until "decorating season") can I still decorate and celebrate the seasons or do I have to maintain that sterile, non-festive but clean home look?
No need to look and feel like a scrooge. If you follow a few simple guidelines, staging during the holidays can be done tastefully and can even enhance the buyer's holiday buying experience -- catapulting your property to the top of their list!
1. KISS the holidays hello! -- One of my son's favorite saying is KISS ... Keep It Simple Stupid! And while I don't condone calling any homeowners (or your 8h grade peers for that matter) "stupid," I do think the slogan provides a good basis for your decorating plans. In other words less is more for the holidays. Think a simple classic wreath on your front door as opposed to the full-on garland around the entry. A single strand of white lights around the roof line instead of icicle trim on every hedge and a Frosty inflatable.
2. Cozy up with color! -- Earthy browns, oranges, and yellows in the fall. Or vibrant rich hues like emerald green or royal purple near Christmas and New Year's! Accent pillows and warm throws in these palettes can add just the perfect pop of color to warm up your living room or a sitting area.
3. Make sparks fly! -- Well not really, we don't want any emergency calls to the fire department. But if you do have a fireplace with gas logs or a fake one, and its a cold day, "fire" (pun intended!) that baby up! Who doesn't dream of sitting down to open a few presents on a comfy sofa near a cozy fire? Of course if you live in Central Texas where it could be 30 but could also be 80 in November and December, use your fireplace wisely depending on the day.
4. Go with a theme! -- If you desire to put up a Christmas tree and have wrapped gifts, make this the year you go for the unexpected. As hard as it might be, put away the construction paper rudolph ornament, and the hand cut snowflakes created by your kindergartener. Keep your tree and its ornaments uniform, in colors and a style that complement your decor, and tastefully sparse. If your living area is traditional with warm hues, an evergreen tree with white lights and red and gold ornaments is perfect. Top it off with just a few wrapped gifts done in complementing red and gold paper and ribbon, or perhaps burlap wrap with a plaid bow. If you are more of a modern minimalist, choose a table top white tree for your dining room complemented with a few silver ornaments and silver and gold packages.
5. The power of a first impression! -- Pay special attention to your front door and your kitchen. Holidays make people want to entertain. So put a critical eye on the areas where entertainment flows. What will someone see and think when they get to the front door and leaves are piled in the corners? Or is the kitchen well-lit for preparing those holiday feasts when there are sure to be many cooks in the kitchen?
Don't let your lack of holiday decorations get you down. Trying to sell your home at this time of year can be stressful enough. So give it a good yet tasteful holiday glow to really turn on the charm, and your home might just be the big ticket item flying off the shelf this holiday season!