Monday, 12 November 2018
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This Old House - Do-it-Yourself

7 Scary Things to Avoid If You’re Trying to Sell Your Home at Halloween

Written by Jaymi Naciri Posted On Monday, 29 October 2018 06:00

It may sound surprising, but doing Halloween décor right may actually help you sell your home. Doing it wrong—well, we’re terrified just thinking about it. Here’s what not to do when decking out your house for the spooky holiday.

Don’t overdo the exterior

“Your home is strung with witch lights, gravestone markers dot your front yard and Casper the Ghost greets visitors at the door,” said MassRealty. “How will potential buyers take your home seriously when your kids insisted on decorating for the holiday.”

Don't go crazy with blood and gore

You may pride yourself on your intricate displays of horror and mayhem, but it’s best to save that for your new place. “Sure, your very realistic zombie playground may be a hit with the neighbors every year, but selling your home will require you to keep your professionalism—after all, you’re trying to sell your house, not spook people away from your front lawn,” said DreamCasa. “Avoid any cringe-worthy Halloween décor like bloody handprints, tombstones, or morbid scenes.”

Don’t lack self-control with the pumpkins

You don't need your front porch to look like a grocery store display. A tasteful mix of pumpkins and gourds can be inviting. Keep the “tasteful” thing in mind when you’re carving, as well. The last thing you want is to attract attention to your Richard Nixon pumpkin instead of your newly painted front door.

Keep an eye on the kids’ carved pumpkins, too. If you don’t want to offend them by hiding the less-than-perfect pumpkins during an open house, you can simply turn the faces toward the wall for showings.

Don’t pack every inch of your interior with Halloween-themed décor

If buyers can’t take their eyes off your (admittedly impressive) skeleton collection, they’re not paying enough attention to your floorplan and features. You want buyers to notice the home, not what's in it.

Don’t fail to decorate

If you're in a neighborhood in which every home decorates for Halloween, you don't want to be the one party pooper—this could make your home stick out for the wrong reason. Save the hanging witches and inflatable Dracula for another time and go for something elegant that speaks to the design sense buyers might find inside. We love these luminary pumpkins that are carved with repeating geometric patterns.

Don't let your yard go

It’s fall and, in many areas, lawns will be dormant soon and yards won’t be in their best spring shape. But that doesn't mean you shouldn’t make an effort, especially if you’re trying to get your home sold. A simple clean up, new mulch, and a couple of baskets of fall flowers near the door can be all it takes to look fresh and new.

Don’t price your home too high

This is problematic regardless of the time of year, but fall can be eye-opening for buyers who incorrectly assume that they may be able to command spring or summer home prices without the same competitive conditions. Your agent’s competitive market analysis should serve as a guide.

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