It's that season where you want to celebrate the coming holidays with a grandiose display of ghouls and goblins followed by pumpkins and wreaths and hand-traced kindergarten turkeys glued on paper plates and then, of course, garland and lights and ornaments hanging from everything and inflatables and a giant incredible tree. We get it. A visible display of festivity is our idea of holiday happiness too.
But going overboard while your home is for sale can actually keep it from selling. And there's nothing festive about that.
"Remember that buyers looking at houses during the holidays are generally ready to buy," said REALTOR Barbara Altieri.
Here's how to strike the right balance.
1. Don't overdue the décor.
You want buyers to see your house, not all the stuff you've piled on in celebration of the holidays. But that doesn't mean you have to go bare.
"The less-is-more mantra of home staging may tempt you to forgo holiday cheer this year. But a few subtle touches like a pinecone centerpiece, an evergreen wreath or a pot of cider simmering on the stove can create a warm and festive feeling in your home," said Front Door.
2. Don't overdo the gore.
Gooey brains or severed limbs might be funny on Halloween night, but not so much when people are arriving for an open house.
3. Use some common sense.
You don't want to turn your house into an Ebola wasteland under any circumstances (too soon, too sad, too gross). But if you're selling you house you want to be extra careful to keep your head and steer clear of anything that might be deemed controversial.
4. Ixnay on the iderspay.
Translation for those who aren't up on their Pig Latin: Nix the spiders. Yes, they're plastic. Yes, they're funny. But anything that could make a potential buyer wince or cringe is not something you want hanging around your home.
5. Keep it secular.
"Avoid overtly religious flourishes, which may be off-putting to some buyers," said Front Door.
6. Don't create a tripping hazard.
Walkways lined with pumpkins or candy canes are festive. But if they're not tucked away so as to keep from impeding access, they could be a danger to visitors. The last thing you need is a lawsuit while you're trying to sell your home (or anytime for that matter).
7. Don't hide your home's best assets.
"There is a time and place for everything and decorating your house that is for sale with a little too much spirit is distracting to say the least," said Altieri.
It's true. Too much holiday clutter can mask your home's best qualities—inside and out. If there is so much outdoor décor that potential buyers can't get a feel for your curb appeal, think about paring it down and only using a few of your favorite items - at least until your home is in escrow.
Inside, beware of covering every inch of your fireplace mantle, and, instead, showcase it with a few holiday items. Remember that you can highlight important areas of the home with a stylish vignette of fall décor, a tray of holiday cookies, and a well-placed Christmas tree.