Break the home-selling rules this holiday season and decorate like you mean it

I’m breaking from my long-held tradition of admonishing you every year to limit your holiday decorations to one room, and one room only, to make your festive decoration footprint as small and discreet as possible. Not this year.

I urge you to pull out all the stops and decorate to your heart’s content.

Even feed your need to pick up that second or third Christmas tree you’ve always wanted. There should be some great bargains on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Here’s the deal. No one is going to the mall this holiday season. No one’s going to sit on Santa’s lap and have their picture taken by a well-lit tree. No one is going to their favorite restaurant to hear the carolers sing while they feast on figgy pudding.

Heck, here in California, we may have to limit our Christmas gathering to two immediate families, and all wear masks.

And if you’re in a position to take advantage of the 2020 COVID housing market, which has been a seller’s dream, then you really should go all out with your holiday decorations.

Sting up the lights. Adorn your front yard with huge, festive inflatables. Do a total and complete Griswold (as in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”). Put up a tree that almost scrapes the ceiling. Line the driveway with luminarias and line the porch with poinsettias.

All of us are starved for something normal. Treat your buyers to a holiday display that will send them over the moon.

I’ve talked at length about how it’s a seller’s job to appeal to a buyer’s emotions. Here’s your chance to hit a home run.

Put out the entire Christmas village, all of the shops, venues, restaurants, ice rinks, Ferris wheels, and gazebos. Line up the nutcrackers as a welcome brigade. Set up the vintage Lionel train around the Christmas tree and make sure it is going full steam ahead for every showing.

XmasHouse JCpicDec2018(File photo by Jeff Collins, the Orange County Register/SCNG)

Hang the stockings from the mantle. Put (fake) presents under the tree, outside of the railroad tracks. Mull the spices and hang the mistletoe conspicuously.

Market your home this holiday season as a stand-in for Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, Universal Studios, the mall Santa and every other go-to destination your buyers can’t go to this year.

And play it to the max.

Of course, pay attention to the safety protocols. Sanitize before and after showings, post the requisite OSHA warning outside your front door and leave before your prospective buyers arrive for effective social distancing.

And take your marketing photos, virtual tour, drone video, and 3-D tour before you decorate. That way the excessive, joyful, and intentional holiday décor will be a welcomed surprise.

Leslie Sargent Eskildsen is an agent with Realty One Group West. She can be reached at 949-678-3373 or leslie@leslieeskildsen.com.

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