When prospective buyers are house hunting, they are often viewing multiple properties — sometimes all within the same day. Keeping them focused on a certain home’s best features can be a difficult task. 

I often encourage sellers who list their homes during the holidays to minimize their religious displays so they don’t draw attention away from the real estate. At times, buyers can be so distracted by a home clad in vibrant decorations that the conversation shifts away from the property itself to questions about the displays.

Although I suggest avoiding going all out on decking the halls, there are still ways to add a little cheer to a property. The key is to find those small touches that make a home warm and inviting during the holidays, like a brightly lit fireplace or a tasteful holiday centerpiece.

These simple touches help buyers envision themselves at home in the space. In short, sellers can absolutely incorporate the holiday spirit very tastefully and subtly in a variety of ways. Here are a few pointers agents can give them.

1. Go natural

My A-list clientele expect a certain level of luxury, and the holidays only amp that up even more, with many opting for all-natural holiday decor. 

Many of my clients are moving to organic decor for the holiday season. Things like real boxwood wreaths, pine, cedar and eucalyptus are very “in” these days. Upkeep involves a simple daily spritz of water to keep all the greens fresh.

2. Bake

The old tip of whipping up fresh cookies before a showing works! Make your home smell alluring and inviting. Everybody feels comforted when there is a delectable smell of something special cooking in the oven, and nothing says “home” better than freshly baked cookies or bread — especially around the holidays. So, bake away!

3. Think small

I’m seeing a huge holiday minimalism trend in my multi-million dollar homes. However, that doesn’t mean homesellers should pack up their decorations. Instead of the huge overall impact in one big great room, spread holiday cheer in every room minimally and tastefully. 

Think: an ornament hung on a mirror and a few branches snipped from your tree in a vase draped with holly. You can also just use hues that coordinate with the home’s already existing color scheme to create a holiday mood in a chic way.

4. Photograph and film the home before the decorations go up

Nothing spells trouble more than trying to sell in March — with images of a Christmas tree in your home’s listing photographs. It tells the world that the home has been sitting on the market since the holidays. 

Homes look gorgeous around this time of year, but if you are trying to sell one, your best bet is to provide buyers with an option of seeing the space in photographs or in a video without the decorations.

5. Light it up!

The only time this rule doesn’t apply is on the outside. Use twinkle lights to illuminate the home’s exterior space, and show off the landscaping! Anything you can add to the outside of the home to light it up is welcoming and inviting, and works to create a beautiful ambiance.

Bonnie Heatzig is a Realtor with The Luxury Real Estate Authority in Florida. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

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