If your home is on the market during the holiday season, you might assume that seasonal decorations are out of the question this year. But selling your home doesn’t have to put a damper on your holiday spirit. You can decorate for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa—whichever holidays you celebrate—and still be ready to show your home at a moment’s notice. Just use the following tips to help keep your home show-ready during the holiday season.

Keep It Simple

Homes can actually look their best all decked out in their holiday finery! The key to making it ready to show to prospective buyers is to keep your decor simple. Go traditional with some greenery (garlands, wreaths, swags, etc.) and white lights and simple bows. Anything that can be chalked up to personal taste should be left out for the time being. Leave the inflatable yard decorations and light-up nativity scene in the attic for this year. Think “less is more,” and keep your holiday decor tasteful, warm, and inviting. Or if you’re looking for an excuse not to decorate, you’ve got the perfect justification!

Create an Inviting Atmosphere

Of course it’s not always cold in December in Charleston, but if it is, be sure to keep the heat on. Offer up some treats like hot chocolate, cookies, and candy canes. Creating an inviting atmosphere makes buyers want to stay, which gives them more time to look and discuss your home’s best attributes, possibly inspiring them to make an offer.

Set Aside a “Wet Room” Area

Wet rooms aren’t quite as common in the Charleston area as they are in colder climates, so if you don’t have one, create a makeshift one. Snowy Decembers may not be typical here, but there’s always plenty of crunchy fallen leaves and the occasional rainstorm. The last thing you want is people trampling your clean floors with their wet, muddy, leafy shoes and leaving tracks everywhere. If you don’t have a defined space for wet shoes and rain gear, think about making space near the front door for a rubber mat for wet shoes, some coat hooks for rain jackets and winter coats, and an umbrella stand. 

Designate a Space for Holiday Activities

When you get a last-minute request for a showing, wouldn’t it be nice if all you had to do was quickly pick up any out-of-place items and fluff the throw pillows? You definitely don’t want to be running around from room to room, stashing stuff away and working yourself into a sweat to make your house presentable for buyers. To help keep pickup to a minimum, designate a spot in one room of the house for activities like wrapping gifts, playing games, and doing Christmas crafts. That way, you’ll just have one area to quickly pick up before your prospective buyers show up. 

Keep Important Features on Display

Resist the urge to codrapever your beautiful, reclaimed wood mantle, gorgeous leaded windows, or ornate banisters with garlands and stockings. Any selling features should stay in the limelight and not be covered or blocked in any way. 

Appeal to All the Senses

Switch on your neutral Christmas lights to bathe the house in a warm glow. Play some classical music or even some classic Christmas tunes. Have some treats like cider and cookies and festive paper napkins available for buyers and their agents. Set out a simmer pot on the stove to send a delicious, inviting aroma wafting through the house. Leave out your coziest throws and rugs to create a plush, homey feel for those buyers who tend to touch everything.

Mark Your Calendar Early

Decide which days you’ll host holiday parties or have get-togethers with friends and family, and have your real estate agent mark the dates down in your showing notes. This will alert buyers’ agents to the fact that your home won’t be available for showings on those dates. Then you won’t have any phone calls asking for showings or in-person interruptions while you’re preparing for or cleaning up after your celebrations.

Hire a Home Stager

If you’re not completely sure you can do it all on your own, think about hiring a home stager to help decorate your home in a neutral yet alluring way. A professional stager will be very familiar with what buyers will love and what will turn them off immediately. 

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