Selling your home in November or December can actually be a very good thing.  Decreased competition due to fewer homes on the market combined with buyers who are very serious about purchasing…because you get fewer lookie-loos during the winter…can make for a successful home sale.  December is usually one of the most productive months of the year for The Chad Wilson Group.

Home sellers often ask if it is okay to decorate for the holidays while their home is on the market.  Here are 4 reasons why it is a bad idea:

1.      Holiday decorations make photos look dated.  

While photos of a home with holiday lights or fall decorations might not look out of place in November or December, those same photos look less appealing in January.  Any holiday decorations in photos after the holiday has passed can make it seem like a home has been on the market for a long time, even if it has just been a few weeks.  It is best to decorate a home in a very timeless fashion so it looks fresh and attractive regardless of the date, at least until the professional photos have been taken.  After the photos are finished, putting up a tree or adding a holiday centerpiece to the dining room table is just fine. (Photos courtesy of Pearl Wilson of That Girl Pearl Photography)

Homes for Sale Lake St Louis

If this home for sale in Lake St Louis was still on the market in April, these snowmen, no matter how much you love them, would make this bathroom look dated and out of place.  

     The poinsettia and snowmen cookie jars scream winter in this Lake St Louis home for sale.

 

   2.  Holiday decorations can block walkways and diminish features in a room.

If you have a beautiful wood block mantle, but it is draped in garland and lights, it may not have the same impact on a buyer.  A big Christmas tree in front of a bay window looks pretty, but the view out the window is harder to appreciate.  A room filled with decorations can make it difficult for buyers to navigate.  Keep decorations small and minimal so that the lovely built-in features of your home can be appreciated.  This includes your porch and front door, which you want to feel open and welcoming.

 

This lovely Christmas tree may make the room feel cozy, but it also blocks almost all of the light coming in from the only window in this room. If you have a St Charles County home for sale, you need all of the natural light you can get, especially after Daylight Saving Time comes to an end.

 

3.       Decorations can make a room feel smaller.

When we stage a room for photos and showings, we minimize clutter as much as possible to make a room feel spacious and open.  Big holiday decorations that block the eye or distract the buyer can make a room feel small and cramped, even if it isn’t.  Consider using a smaller Christmas tree that only takes up a corner of the room rather than one that consumes almost half.  Minimize the smaller items, like tabletop decorations, pillows, stair railing garland, window clings and the like.  Make sure as much light as possible can still enter a room, especially in the winter months when many showings happen after the sun has set.  

While this living room is open, it isn't incredibly spacious.  The Christmas tree cuts off almost half of the room, making it feel even smaller.

 

    There is just too much going on in this big, open family room.  All of the seasonal pillows and decorations distract the viewer from appreciating the space.

 

    4.  Yard ornaments and lights can make it hard to keep a tidy lawn.

The curb appeal of your home is where buyers make their important first impression.  As much as possible, you will want to maintain the grass cutting, leaf raking and landscape trimming.  If you have lights strung on your trees and bushes, it can be very difficult to keep those beds tidy.  Big inflatables or other outdoor decorations can be difficult to move so that lawns can be mowed and maintained.   Lots of extension cords make a home feel cluttered and messy.  Make landscaping as easy as possible while your home is on the market and avoid items that slow down or impede your work.

Enjoy the holidays even while your home is on the market, but do it with the buyer’s perspective in mind.  Next year, when your home has sold and you are moved into your new place, you can bring out every cherished decoration and celebrate the holidays as much as you like!