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How to decorate for the holidays when selling your home

The holiday season may not seem like an ideal time to put your house on the market. During this time of year people are focused on buying gifts, pinching pennies, and spreading holiday cheer. Not so much on searching for and buying a new home. Don’t despair though, the holidays may actually be the perfect time for you to hand over your house keys to new owners by creating some subtle holiday magic of your own.

1. Set the stage
One of the most important things to do when selling your home is to remove excess clutter, and set the right tone by “staging” the house. Your Realtor or a professional stager can help with this process. It doesn’t have to be complicated. You can use your own furniture and a few select seasonal props that bring in the warmth and festivity of the season without overwhelming the space or potential buyers. Just remember to keep it simple! You want house hunters to feel as if they are walking into their future home, not their doily-obsessed grandmother’s house. Create a comfortable, cozy, not too pretentious or pristine feeling and you’ll be setting just the right mood.

2. Ignite their imagination
During the winter season with cooler, crisp air, and freshly fallen snow, nothing is more inviting than a crackling, warm fireplace. If your house has this feature, light it up! Help your buyers see themselves sitting in front of that fireplace with cozy blankets and hot chocolate. Try and keep the environment as neutral as possible and clear away personal items such as framed family photos or personalized stockings. This way, visitors will be better able to envision themselves in your beautiful setting. Draping a warm blanket with a few good books near your crackling fire could do just the trick.

3. Bring in the holiday magic
Help buyers see your home’s potential for holiday cheer. Add tasteful, small holiday touches around the house. Mulled wine simmering in a crockpot, holiday scented candles, and carefully placed twinkling lights can help them feel the magic of the season. You can bring out some of your Christmas décor, but try and keep it non-religious, and as neutral as possible. It is important to focus on the season, and not the religious overtones. Pull out subtle pieces, such as mistletoe, and use it to accentuate special or unique features in your home. A carefully placed string of lights could help your buyer to see something they may have overlooked, such as that beautiful entryway arch.

4. Don’t forget the outside
During this time of year, daylight is fleeting and darkness descends earlier and earlier. This means that many of your buyers will see your house in the evening light. Take advantage of this opportunity to update your light fixtures outside, and create a warm, inviting entry to your house. Simple and elegant lights could be added to a beautiful tree in the front yard or highlight the architecture of the home.

5. Lights, Camera, Action!
You’ve created a picture-perfect holiday home for your buyers that is warm, cozy, festive and inviting. A beautiful tree would be a fantastic finishing touch. Use the tree to accentuate features of your home and not detract. The size of the tree is very important. You should make sure it doesn’t take up too much precious floor space. The décor should be understated and simple, and not clash with the color scheme of the room. You still want the house to be the focal point, and not your ornaments.

These 5 simple holiday home decorating guidelines can make your home feel like the best purchase your buyers can make – even during the holiday season. Happy decorating!