Styled, Staged & Sold

Bringing you the latest home design and staging trends. From REALTOR® Magazine.

Selling a Home Over the Holiday Season

By Charlene Storozuk, guest contributor

Christmas is rapidly approaching, and it’s easy to get caught up in the décor hype that comes with this time of year. For those who celebrate Christmas, there’s something enchanting about bedecking your home for the season. However, if you’re selling your home, be careful as to how much holiday decorating you do.

A question I get asked a lot at this time of year is “How much Christmas decor is too much when you’re selling your home?” I’m always glad to hear a client ask that. It means that they are serious about doing everything they can to help their home sell faster.

The answer: Keep it to a minimum for this year. That may not always be feasible, particularly if you have little ones at home that are excited about Santa’s upcoming arrival. However, there are things that you can do to tastefully keep the spirit of Christmas alive without overdoing it.

Here are a few guiding principles:

• A few pine boughs spread through your home will create a nice winter theme that hints at Christmas but can stay out through the winter season. We incorporated a pine bough display with decorative holiday ornaments on the dining room table of this staged property – simple but effective.
• Exterior Christmas lights: Try to avoid them this year if possible. If you insist on lighting up the exterior, then go for a couple of spotlights in festive colors pointed at outdoor features such as a piece of garden statuary. Another idea is to change out the bulbs on your porch light to a more Christmas-themed color. Not only will this be more subtle, it’s much easier than untangling strings of lights and hanging them from the eaves trough.

• Inflatable/animated exterior Santas, Reindeers etc.: Leave them packed away for this year.

• Setting the scene outside with an urn dressed with seasonal greenery makes a great first impression. A more subtle winter theme was used rather than a Christmas scheme when I designed these displays for a corporate client. They give a nod to the season, without being over the top. Since the displays weren’t adorned with red bows and Christmas ornaments they can be left in place until late in the winter (as long as the greenery stays fresh-looking).

• Avoid bringing out more Christmas décor than you need for this year. It’s just more stuff your clients will have to pack up afterwards. Remind your clients that they’ll surely be doing enough packing when it comes time to move!

• Keep your Christmas tree simple and avoid red. Add a lot of mini lights, crystals, and mirrored ornaments to give it a magical sparkle. Decorative balls in the green tones will blend into the tree and give it a polished, elegant look.

• Right after Christmas, be sure to remove any décor that isn’t suitable to stay out for the remainder of the winter season. Do this during the first week of January.

• Listing photos - if any of the shots were taken showing your Christmas décor, make sure those ones are re-done after the holidays. You don’t want potential buyers looking online in April at photos of your home with a Christmas tree in the shot. Nothing points out a home sitting on the market for a long time more than that.

Do you have any other suggestions? Feel free to share them with everyone here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Charlene Storozuk is the owner of DEZIGNER DIGZ, a professional home staging, interior decorating and redesign firm based in Burlington, Ontario Canada. She is certified as an International Staging Professional, International Design & Decorating Professional, Professional Colour Consultant, and Feng Shui Design Professional. Her work is published in the book “FabJob Guide to Become a Home Stager,” 2009 edition. Storozuk is recognized as a local leader in the home staging industry. She founded the Halton & Hamilton-Wentworth Real Estate Staging Association Chapter and served on the association’s Executive Committee for two years as Regional Vice-President, Canada. Storozuk is a past recipient of RESA North American Leadership Awards for Chapter President of the Year (2007) and Regional Vice-President of the Year (2011). For ideas on how to bring “WOW” Factor to your home, follow her HIP TIPZ Series for daily home staging, design and decor inspiration. HIP TIPZ can be found on the Dezigner Digz Facebook Fan Page and on Twitter: @dezigner_digz .


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