The holidays are a time of cheer, family memories and traditions, but what to do when you’re also trying to sell your home and keep it show-ready? Don’t worry, there are a few ways to keep the spirit alive and still stage your home to present it in its best light for prospective buyers from Halloween through New Years.
Even during a festive season, the essentials of staging a home remain the same, namely that clutter is the enemy. This means getting rid of absolutely anything that is not necessary for your day to day; anything broken, extra furniture, knick knacks, personal photos, out of season clothing, the kid’s excess toys and any sporting equipment laying around. If it doesn’t need to be there, go ahead and donate it, pack it up early and it send into storage so you have a cleared out, blank space for buyers to be able to easily imagine their own stuff there in the future.
After your home is ready to look like a showroom, make sure it smells just as sparkling and that every square inch from ceiling to floor gets a deep clean. Unlike the summer when you want wide open, breezy spaces, in the autumn and winter arrange your furniture so it creates natural seating areas equally spaced throughout the room. This makes it look organized, but also cozy without creating too much dead space in the room. If staging might not fit into your schedule or interests, there are several places you can go for inspiration, including chatting online interior designers for tips, home and garden magazines and Pinterest.
Since you’ll still be living in the house, there’s no need to forgo embracing the season! A good rule of thumb is stick to smaller items and simple decor in solid colors. Anything that’s too large, eclectically patterned or deeply personal to you can distract buyers from the space. Make sure any personal or devotional items are either small enough for tables, fit unobtrusively in spacious corners, or that you can safely stow in a closet during the showings so the focus stays on your beautiful house and not on the family who still lives there.
Here are just a few areas where you can quickly add some cheer and warmth back into your carefully staged house:
A prime decorating spot, the living room gives you ample opportunities to celebrate autumn and winter with just a few simple additions. Small accent pillows for the sofa and chairs can add color without adding bulk or clutter. They’re also relatively inexpensive, easy to find and also switch out for each theme from October spooky to January 1st glam. Simple leaf or evergreen garlands work well for mantles and artfully arranged candles on coffee and end tables can create a cozy feel and opportunity to give a subtle, pleasing scent for the space too.
It’s well known that kitchens and bathrooms are key selling points for prospective buyers. Making it look clean, sleek and spacious is a must, so just adding themed tea towels or fresh seasonal cut flowers in a vase can add interest without adding clutter to your countertops.
While often an afterthought or considered not as important as the interior, the exterior is the first thing potential buyers see as their first impression and gives you a chance for some subtle decoration too. After you’ve power-washed the siding, repaired any broken gutters and cleaned up the yard, now you can add some fun accents. A festive wreath to the front door, banks of mums or pumpkins for fall and tasteful, simple lights to a tree or bushes for winter can all give you a little cheer and also some interest to the outside of your house.
With a few careful purchases and remembering less is more, you’ll be able to enjoy the season and still keep stress levels low while staging and prepping your home during the holidays!