Red Barrinuevo is the property stylist on HGTV Canada’s Hot Market and is the principal designer at Redesign4More. He is an award-winning interior stylist who was also named one of the most influential people in real estate home staging this year by RESA Global.
While some consider winter to be real estate’s slowest season, there are certainly some opportunities that make it a special time to buy or sell. Home-buying competition is lower at this time of year, making it attractive for serious buyers in search of their next (or first) home. The looming holidays are another bonus, but good intentions can easily go awry if not celebrated and decorated in good taste. If you’re selling your home, perhaps you need to put your personal preferences aside this year — which might mean leaving the 18-foot snowman blow-up in the box.
Don’t get me wrong, selling your home doesn’t mean forgoing the seasonal decor altogether. In fact, it’s important to create a warm, welcoming atmosphere that will make your house feel like “home” to the right buyer. Here are some of my holiday staging suggestions to appeal to a wide range of homebuyers.
Keep it neutral
This is the general rule of home staging in any season, but it applies acutely to your holiday decor. Limit your festive colour scheme to just one or two hues. This will keep it simple and classy, versus cluttered and overwhelming. Don’t stray from that scheme and remember: less is more! When it comes to holiday lights, a simple white string, inside and out, will create a classic, continuous look and sometimes, this is all that’s needed to add just enough festive flair.
Keep it non-denominational
People celebrate many different holidays, in many different ways. As a seller, your goal is to ensure you’re making everyone feel comfortable enough to hopefully consider your home, their home. Pack away the nativity scene and celebrate winter with evergreen wreaths, garlands, and candles. Before virtual tours or showings, light the fireplace, turn on all the lights and crank up the thermostat a few notches, to make your home instantly warm and welcoming. Potential buyers won’t want to leave — and that’s the real goal, isn’t it?
Accentuate the positive
Use your holiday decor to highlight positive features in your home. For example, a tall Christmas tree could be just the thing to draw attention to a two-storey living area. Other features to highlight include a tasteful display of candles on the fireplace mantel, garland winding down a curved stair railing, light strings to illuminate outdoor walkways and landscaping. When staging a home, accessories are methodically selected to highlight the home’s best features. Use your festive decor to do the same thing.
There’s nothing quite like our Canadian winters, and while we grumble about them an awful lot, most of us secretly have a soft spot for the season. Play it up by upping the cosy factor in your home, which will make buyers feel physically comfortable while also tugging at their heart strings.