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Decorating for Halloween is great fun, but be careful if you’re trying to sell your house. You may frighten off buyers. I’m all for skeletons and ghouls, and lots of pumpkins round the mantelpiece, but when buyers visit, they want to envision themselves living there. Bones, blood, and gore distract from that vision.
Do not get discouraged though: you can still decorate for October. Here are 5 tips on how to decorate for Halloween if you’re selling your house, so spirits and buyers feel welcome.
1. Keep It Outside
The less you clutter the inside of your house, the better. You want to create the illusion of space and NOT distract buyers who imagine living there. After all, you’re not showing a haunted house, though that’d be more fun, right?
Stick to decorating the outside of your house, but make sure your decorations are not too scary. You do not want to take away from your curb appeal when buyers pull up.
You can put out faux pumpkins and planters, a creepy, but charming wreath, and a pleasant foot mat that welcomes fall or trick-or-treaters.
2. Do Not Go Overboard, and Think Safety
Turning your front yard into a cemetery, or covering it with inflatable ghosts distracts from the house. Buyers can even miss the “For Sale” sign out front.
Also, do not clutter the front stoop. The last thing you need is a buyer or their realtor tripping over decorations. You can decorate, but leave an open footpath, so visitors can come and go without trouble.
3. The Inside Is Not Completely Off Limits
While you don’t want to over decorate inside, you can still add some hints of the Fall season. Embrace the color scheme with autumn accents, like pillows and a nice throw in the living room, or candles and towels in the bathroom. Even glass candy dishes, full of treats, in the kitchen are acceptable.
But again: avoid clutter and being too scary.
4. Take Snapshots Before Decorating
Before decorating, take photos of the inside and outside of your house for its listing. Buyers should see how the house looks “at its best” (on a regular day) when they search it online. Make it presentable, clean and ready for move-in in your pictures.
5. Clean Up as Soon as the Holiday Is Over
When Halloween is over, put away the decorations on November 1st. Buyers find post-holiday decorations tacky and detracting from the house.
Sell Before the Holiday
If you are eager to move – maybe you are getting ready to close on another house, or you just want Halloween to be a thriller and not deal with twitchy buyers, sell to an investor. Real estate investors are not superstitious or put off by ghouls and goblins. They’ll actually give you a treat: a cash offer for your property “as-is,” no repairs or renovations necessary.
Want another treat? An investor requires no traditional sale warranties or inspections, and they pay all closing costs and additional sale fees. You pick the closing date, which can be in less than 30 days, and move just in time to enjoy trick-or-treating in a new neighborhood.