December is generally a slower month for real estate, as many people pause to enjoy the holiday season in their current home before ramping up their home search in the New Year. Just because many put their searches on hold does not mean it is a bad time to have your house on the market, though. In fact, December is a great time to list your house, both because there is typically less inventory available (and therefore less competition) and because holiday decorations and festivities provide many opportunities to make your house really shine. Here are a few tips for making your house look its very best during the holiday season.
1. Yes, hang those stockings by the chimney with care.
If you celebrate Christmas, by all means bring out your tree! Pick a great spot to show it off and pair it with a nicely decorated mantel with fresh garland and stockings. Think lovely greenery with classic burlap or a plaid bow. Just make sure the stockings you put out don’t have names on them. Remember that you’re trying to help buyers envision themselves in your house, and having your name on display might distract them.
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2. Be thoughtful with your outdoor decorations.
The name of the game here is tasteful and traditional! A beautiful, traditional-style wreath on the front door will do the trick. In our previous post about curb appeal, we mentioned that it is important to paint your front door prior to putting your house on the market. That applies here, too, and what better way to show off the new paint than with a great, festive wreath? Also, keep the leaves swept from the doorstep so visitors don’t bring them inside or start to think about raking leaves! If you’re thinking of putting up outdoor lights, we encourage tasteful white lights, and we highly encourage staying away from Walmart’s finest Santa inflatables.
3. Think simple and elegant, with no clutter.
Think about everything that makes a house feel like a home. Now, scale way back. Small details go a long way in making your house feel comfortable and warm for potential buyers. Have your fireplace clean and in working order and make it feel like the center of the home. If it is gas, get that fire going! If it is wood-burning, put some logs in the fireplace to make buyers think about cozy nights by the fire. Additionally, having a candle burning for showings is nice, but don’t overdo it with heavy scents. We recommend the Fraser fir-scented candle carried by two of our fellow Stylebook contributors! Finally, put your best holiday linen in your powder room and have some holiday music playing softly in the background, if you’d like. ‘Tis the season!