Less is more when it comes to decorating your home this season, especially if it’s currently on the market, say experts.

Curb your enthusiasm

How to get the sell and still be festive

With the holidays hot on their heels, homeowners will have plenty of opportunities over the next couple of months to indulge in outdoor decorations that range from the gruesome and garish to the feel-good and festive.

Yet housing experts still urge homeowners to keep curb appeal in mind when it comes to going over-the-top this Halloween and Christmas.

Curb appeal is a reflection of a home’s interior esthetic, as well as an indication of the respect a homeowner has for their home and community, said Calgary-based interior designer Amanda Hamilton.

The holidays should be seen as “an opportunity for homeowners to showcase that you’re engaging with the neighbourhood.” But Hamilton advises against going overboard with the festive decorations, especially if you’re selling.

She suggests Calgarians decorate with their home’s external colour palette in mind. This can help them avoid dressing their homes in festive hues that may clash with their existing colour scheme.

She also advises opting for sophisticated and timeless items that signal the change in seasons, rather than blatant, holiday-specific decorations. This will increase the decor’s longevity and allow it to be left up for the duration of a season.

“If you’re selling your home around Halloween or Christmas time, we advise you follow a less-is-more approach when it comes to festive decorations.”

Because curb appeal can communicate the level of care and maintenance poured into a home, it’s one of the first ways buyers form first impressions about whether they are interested in putting in an offer, said Hamilton. An overabundance of spooky tombstones or light-up reindeer can litter the front lawn and distract from a home’s positive first impression.

When showing your home, make it appear as neutral as possible so prospective buyers can effectively envision themselves living there, said Steve Hanson, co-owner of home staging company Restage.

He suggests homeowners avoid going all out with holiday decorations because, “you’re trying to depersonalize your home when you sell it. If you’re selling your home around Halloween or Christmas time, we advise you follow a less-is-more approach when it comes to festive decorations.”

Regardless of if you’re selling your home or staying put, both Hanson and Hamilton agree curb appeal can either be enhanced or hindered when it comes to removing and maintaining those holiday decorations.

Proper maintenance of exterior decor is key to establishing curb appeal as it displays a homeowner’s attention to detail. Hamilton said prompt removal of holiday decorations shows you care about your property and neighbourhood.

“You have to have respect for the outside of your home because everyone has to look at it,” she said. “If I had a blow-up Santa in my front yard in February, I’m sure my neighbours wouldn’t appreciate it.”

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