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It is almost the time of year for holiday parties, budgets strained by gift-giving and big family gatherings. But the coming of winter and the big holidays does not mean that the home buying season is over by any means. And those house hunters who do venture out in the winter tend to be the serious buyers who are looking to buy NOW.

So given that you may still be welcoming potential buyers to your Houston home for sale does that mean that you can’t have a cheery, colorful holiday season this year? No it does not, but you do have to decorate and stage a little more carefully.

Try these tips to get home buyers in the right spirit and still make your own holidays fun:

Clean and stage

Before you decorate, your house needs to be staged. For example, if your living room is already piled high with clutter your ceramic reindeer collection is only going to add to the sense of overcrowding. Work with a professional Houston home stager and they will be able to help ensure that your occupied home staging is attractive and appropriate while also helping you brainstorm ways to keep the festive spirit in the space for you and your family to enjoy.  

Create a cosy vibe

The less-is-more mantra of home staging may tempt you to forgo holiday cheer this year. But a few subtle touches like a bowl of pine cones, an evergreen wreath, or a pot of cider simmering on the stove can create a warm and festive feeling in your home.

Complement your decor

Before you start untangling your tinsel, make sure your holiday decor matches your current staged decor. If your living room is painted a soothing ocean-blue hue, skip the clashing red garland and opt for white snowflakes or a silver glass-ball wreath. If you’ve gone for a an earthy color scheme, accent it with rich tones like cranberries, forest greens and gold.

Accentuate the positive

Too many holiday trimmings distract buyers, but the right accessories can draw attention to your home’s best features. Dangle mistletoe in an arched doorway, or display your menorah on the ledge of a bay window; just don’t block a beautiful view with stick-on snowflake decals.

Go light on lights

Step away from holiday lights, Clark Griswold. One man’s “merry” is another man’s “tacky,” so tone down any garish light displays while your home is on the market for sale. Instead, use simple string lighting to play up your home’s architecture or draw attention to the gorgeous fir tree in your front yard.

Be an equal-opportunity decorator

Leave the life-sized Nativity scene or jumbo Menorah in storage this year, because overtly religious flourishes may be off-putting to some buyers. You want to keep neutrality throughout, so you can attract any type of buyer. Not sure what qualifies? No matter what your religion is, you’re not going to feel offended by a nutcracker.

Mind the tree

A tall Christmas tree can help you show off your two-story great room, but make sure the wide base won’t overwhelm the floor space. If your living area is on the small side, save space with a skinny tree. Store the gaudy heirloom ornaments and trim your tree in a cohesive theme such as icicle lights and silver tinsel, for example, or blue and gold glass balls.