The holiday season gives most people the feels – “most” being the operative word. It’s important to keep this in mind when selling your home during the festive season. It’s easy to go overboard. (If you’re not sure what we mean, watch the notorious house-lighting scene from National Lampoons Christmas Vacation for a reminder). An open house is a great opportunity to welcome eager homebuyers and show off your home in all its warm, wonderful glory. Here are some tips to stage your home for a sale, while keeping it tasteful.
First, make sure all the year-round outdoor lights are functioning — winter days are short, so having the walkway and front door lit up for evening viewings is a must. Second, when it comes to seasonal light displays, keep it simple. String white lights to highlight an architectural feature or a fir tree in the front yard… and make sure those light-up reindeer stay in the garage.
Any home stager worth their salt will tell you first impressions are key — and since the front door is often the first thing a potential buyer will see, make it count! Give that dull door a quick holiday makeover by hanging a tasteful wreath or swag. Inside, stage your home with a seasonal arrangement placed in the entryway, to make buyers feel like they’re coming home for the holidays, rather than just touring another open house.
Even though year-round home staging is all about a less-is-more philosophy, when the holidays roll around ramping up your ornament game is a must. But don’t go overboard. A bowl of fragrant pinecones, some strategically placed sprigs of holly, or a bowl of shiny glass baubles should do the trick. Oh, and stay away from overtly religious displays as it might put off some people. Remember, this is about them, not you.
Your eclectic collection of Christmas tree ornaments may hold great sentimental value to you and your family, but they may clash horribly with your home décor and should stay securely packed away. To stage your home for the holiday season, consider your living room’s color palette and find ornaments that complement it. If the walls are white, opt for a faux white tree, or if the room is decorated in darker tones, consider gold or green holiday accents.
Stepping out of the biting cold and into a warm, cozy home is one of the few pleasures of wintertime. Enhance the corporeal experience of your potential buyers by making sure the thermostat is turned up a couple of extra degrees. If there’s a fireplace, ensure it’s lit for open houses, showings and staged photos.
Thanks to human physiology, the quickest way to access memories is through the sensation of smell — so stage your home by ensuring buyers are getting a good whiff, from the moment they walk through the door. Simmering apple cider or baking a batch of ginger cookies are good standbys, but take it a step further and sparingly spritz a winter-scented home fragrance throughout and breathe deeply.