Your home is listed and you can’t figure out whether or not you should go nuts with the annual decorating event?  Well I say go for it and decorate better then ever before.  Many times we are afraid of offending or doing something to take away from the home appeal and holiday decorations come up often.  While I think there is a line that can be crossed or certain holidays that may be scary or odd, the traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations can do a lot for the staging of a home.  It can be inviting and give an “I am at home” feeling to a buyer.  It can make the difference between a cold vanilla property to a home that someone can see themselves celebrating in.  So below are a few guidelines that can help as you prepare to bring buyers through your home this holiday season.

Be tasteful – Having a 12-foot Santa Claus greeting visitors at the front door may be overwhelming but doing your best to decorate tastefully throughout a home is expected.  Mantles, shelves and empty corners look great if they are peppered with seasonal decor but not too much.  Think about what you would expect to see in a show home and do just that.  Maybe pick this year as the year to not put Billy’s glue sticked Christmas card from 25 years ago on the fridge or the half cookie ornament that means so much to you, but otherwise do it up.  Decorate and make that home exactly how you have enjoyed it for many years because the next buyer is going to want to feel the same way once they move in.

The Tree – I love a Christmas tree once it is setup and think they are beautiful to look at in our friends homes over the holidays but there is a good and a bad way to go about it.  A tree can be too big or tacky and this would be the year to over think it a bit.  Having the right sized tree can make a room not feel small or crowded as you move around.  Recall last year whether your fresh tree blocked a door or a fireplace view, did it fold over on the ceiling or did it rub up against furniture?  Either way consider right sizing your tree to enjoy the holidays but also to show how nicely a tree can work in a space.  Also, consider the number of trees you put out.  Having one in each room or taking up a large counter space may need a second thought, so ask a friend if its cluttered or too much from an outsiders eye and go from there.

The No-No’s – Be General for sure.  If you are part of a cult or a new religion that celebrates holidays in a way that may not appeal to the masses you may want to reconsider this year.  No judging here but you don’t want to offend anyone this season especially a potential buyer.  Things like dead animals or scary things or overly dark decor are wonderful but typically take away from a homes appeal and most buyers are not going to be relating to how you decorate.  Maybe select a small area to decorate the way you decorate but please do not pick this year as the year Santa is dies or anything weird that might creep someone out.

I really do believe that having fun and celebrating the holidays in your home is important and having a potential buyer experience the decor for different seasons is important, so I encourage it.  But being tasteful and considerate of the space is the key to not going above a buyers expectations and possibly taking a positive to a negative for someone looking for a dream home.  If you just cant figure out what looks good or if your stuff is bad, look in magazines or online or ask that one friend that seems to be too honest at times.  It will help and you will benefit greatly in the end.  Good luck and Happy Holidays.


Curt has been in the Indianapolis Real Estate business for over 10 years and spent his first years learning all aspects of commercial management and brokerage.  He has had great success in managing existing commercial projects and new retail and office developments.  Curt specializes in building owner representation and purchases in the Westfield Indiana market as well throughout the Indianapolis Metro area.  Curt is passionate about growing the local Westfield community and in his free time volunteers with Westfield Youth Assistance and raising 2 children with his wife Jennifer.