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Selling your home over the holidays?

Decorate strategically

The holidays are a fabulous time to showcase your home’s warmth and character to prospective buyers. The right decorating plan can significantly increase your home’s desirability by getting the buyer engaged and ready to write an offer.

If you’re looking to sell during the festive period, here are some helpful tips:

• Once you start decorating, complete the task as soon as possible. Your home must be clean and clear of clutter. Also, please don’t overdo it. You want buyers to see your home, not focus on the decorations. For instance, if your Christmas tree takes up a lot of space, perhaps move a few furniture pieces to other rooms or to storage to avoid making the space feel cramped. As a Realtor and new home specialist, I have had many buyers consider Christmas tree placement when deciding on a home.

The same is true for tabletop décor; to avoid clutter, put some of your everyday items away until after the holidays.

• Make a great first impression. Perhaps place a big red bow on the mailbox as a marker to help Realtors and potential buyers find your home. Add a wreath and a new doormat, and, if possible, add white lights to the exterior. Remember, it gets darker earlier, and many buyers drive by at different times to ensure your home is “the one.”

• Don’t forget that the foyer plays a considerable role in creating a great first impression. Consider adding subtle holiday scents as buyers walk through. A vase with evergreen clippings adds a touch of elegance and the soft smell of pine.

• Avoid limiting your buyer pool with the use of religious items. Use items geared toward all beliefs and backgrounds. Winter themes like holly and snowmen tend to make a house feel warm. Add a plaid throw over the end of a sofa for a cozy feel. Also, avoid overly personal items such as:

  1. homemade ornaments
  2. Christmas stockings with names
  3. a bunch of holiday cards
  4. family photos

• Reducing natural light detracts from the value of the room. Keep this in mind when placing your décor. Try to keep the windows clear to allow as much natural light as possible to enter. We all love putting our Christmas tree in front of a window, but if your windows or space are limited, try moving it to a different part of the room. If you add anything to the windowsill, limit it to a simple candle that won’t interfere with sunlight.

• Coordinate with the room’s colors to make each one as appealing as possible to potential buyers. Think neutral. Metallics such as gold, copper or silver accents add a touch of elegance to almost any color scheme. White is also a peaceful, festive and neutral accent color for any holiday decorating scheme. If you use multicolor tree lights, perhaps change them to white for a more elegant feel.

Finally, keep the loud noises to a minimum. Turn off the talking Santa and singing elves. Instead, play soothing holiday music softly in the background.

It might feel like a lot of work to decorate your home for the holidays, especially when you may move before the season ends, but decorating your home strategically can make it sell faster. Your décor can bring buyers joy and happiness, making them feel like they are already home.

Written by Susie Siemiontkowski

Susan Siemiontkowski is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Alfonso Realty. Reach her at (228) 239-2621 or

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