'Tis the season to be merry – and to try to agree a house sale before the Christmas holidays. If you're selling your home in December, then prospective buyers will be invited to viewings of a house that looks a little different from normal. Whether you're just putting up a Christmas tree or going all-out on internal and external decorations, if you want to sell your home relatively quickly, there are a few potential festive decor faux pas to be aware of; sounds odd, but the wrong Christmas decor could make or break a property transaction.
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Of course, a tasteful and cosy Christmas decor, a beautifully decorated tree, and the smells of festive baking can all work in your favour. But that inflatable Santa in your front garden? Not so much, as it turns out. Bankrate asked 1,000 prospective house buyers about how they would react to different types of festive decorations when viewing a property.
The verdict is in, and large inflatable Christmas characters are officially the most off-putting, with 26 per cent of respondents saying they would affect a home's appeal.
Electronic characters with moving parts (e.g. waving Santa) didn't fare much better – 23 per cent of prospective home buyers find them off-putting. And if you religiously (sorry) decorate your house with nativity-themed statues and scenes, it's best to hold off this year if you want to sell you house, as nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of buyers aren't so keen on displays referring to the original meaning of Christmas.
If your Christmas preparations tend to turn to chaos, with wrapping paper and boxes lying around everywhere, it pays, literally, to do some festive decluttering before inviting buyers into your home. Indoor Christmas clutter – and excessive decorations – will scare off 22 per cent of buyers.
Finally, although the amount of Christmas lighting that you like to use to decorate the exterior of your home is subjective, it's best to assume that less is more if your property is on sale. Excess outdoor lighting is disliked by 20 percent of potential buyers – not all of them, of course, but enough that it may put of your perfect buyer.
In short, if you're selling, stick to small-scale, understated Christmas decorations and a nice Christmas tree, and you should be good. Or, if you really want to go all-out on decs and lights this year, consider selling after Christmas.