4 Tips for Throwing a Holiday-Themed Open House

Thinking of your home on the market this season? Here’s how to throw the ultimate holiday-themed open house that’s sure to have buyers adding your place to their wish list.

1. Make it cozy and bright

The first step to getting buyers in the door, and then persuading them to stay for a while, is to transform your house into a warm haven of holiday cheer. Start by keeping your house very warm, so it will be the most welcoming house a buyer will visit on their tour.

You might even want to use a real fire to increase your home’s cozy factor. Also consider incorporating small lights, candles and even scented decor to make every room feel like one your buyer doesn’t want to leave. A trick: Cinnamon-scented pine cones that can be found in hobby stores make a great holiday decoration.

2. Bring out the food and drink

Baked goods and festive drinks can help your event feel more like a holiday party, and less like a chore. Offer small glasses of white, bubbly grape juice or some other type of drinks that won’t be too messy to clean up if there are any spills, and put on some upbeat holiday tunes and bake some cookies to engage all of the senses. Hot cocoa also can make potential buyers linger longer.

3. Don’t store presents under the tree

Eliminate any temptation for theft during the open house by keeping presents and valuables out of sight. The same goes for the genuine crystal tree topper or heirloom china. We know it comes out only once a year, but this year it’s better off staying in the attic.

After all, it isn’t just theft you should be worried about; other accidents can easily happen as well, especially with a house full of people. So, it’s a good idea to always put away valuables and breakable items that cannot be replaced.

4. Be sensitive with decor

The holidays mean different things to different folks. Since you never know who will be walking through the door, it’s important to keep your decor festive and fun, rather than heavy or religious. Translation? Christmas trees are great, but skip the nativity set this year. Instead, place a pine wreath on the front door, and tie a few large, red velvet bows along the front of your home. Inside, make it nondenominational by using decorative items such as snowmen, snowflakes, holly and candles.

To keep your home from seeming gloomy, also be sure that the key focal points in your home look holiday-ready. For example, if you have a mantel, be sure it’s decorated, as mantels left plain will look out of place to prospective buyers during this time of year.

That doesn’t mean you should go overboard, however. Buyers who attend open houses during the holidays are serious about buying, so it’s important to make the home inviting, but not too distracting with holiday décor.