To Decorate Or Not To Decorate?

That is the question most homeowner’s have when they have their home on the market during the holiday season. It’s tough, especially if you are living in your home or hosting family for the holidays. We never want to discourage holiday cheer, but here’s my best advice… decorate with taste and sensitivity to potential buyers that might view your home during the holiday season.

I know, “decorate to taste” is vague, let me break it down.

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Don’t Compete For Best Lights Display

Avoid elaborate yard displays that take away from your curb appeal. Huge blow up Santa’s, or the entire reindeer lineup might distract potential homebuyers, taking attention away from your beautiful palm trees and foliage.

While a few simple, white exterior lights hung from the roofline are a nice touch to outline the size of your house, I would avoid the dancing projector lights or strands of multicolor lights that don’t provide a warm and clean curb appeal.

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No Winter Wonderlands

The same advice goes for your interior decorations, less is more. An elegant lighted garland is nice above the fireplace, but don’t turn your home into a grand winter wonderland. I would suggest a smaller Christmas tree this year, one that does not take away from the size of your living room and make the space seem small and crowded.

If the holidays will not be the same without your nutcracker collection, I suggest removing current decor and dispersing the nutcrackers throughout the home with one or two in each room.

Don’t Block The Views

And PLEASE, don’t block that beautiful view of the Gulf, the bay, the golf course, or your scenic backyard. This is what SELLS YOUR HOME!

Avoid lining the windowsills with snowman figurines, or plastering your windows and sliding glass doors with snowflake window-clings.You’ll be surprised at how a simple candle in the window can create a warm and inviting feel.

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Be Sensitive to Religious Views

I’ve yet to find a Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa decoration that was offensive, but I do suggest remaining sensitive to potential home buyers of all religions.

While I see nothing wrong with a nativity set displayed on the end table, or a menorah on the mantel, I wouldn’t plaster the home with religious memorabilia. This goes along with my general advice of “less is more” when it comes to decorating your home while it’s on the market.


I hope this advice has been beneficial for those of you pondering how to handle the holidays! I’m always happy to stop by and give my honest advice. Don’t hesitate to reach out as you’re preparing for the holidays this year!

Susan McCallion About Susan McCallion

Meet "Your Favorite Redhead." Susan was exposed to real estate while young with her parent's 8 Re/MAX offices in Connecticut! In 2008, Susan and Jim became permanent Sanibel residents, starting McCallion & McCallion to bring a fresh approach to real estate.