How to Decorate Your House for Halloween if You’re Selling

Photo credit: Better Homes & Gardens

Spring is the season when plants and trees begin to grow. And, for many, it’s also time to dig out the Halloween decorations to get the house looking its creepiest.

Fun and festive, sure. But probably not ideal if your home is on the market. After all, you want potential buyers to feel like they’re visiting their new home, not a haunted house they’ll run screaming from.

That doesn’t mean you have to refrain from putting out any holiday decor - just follow these tips from real estate professionals to help you decorate without scaring off someone looking to buy a home.

Photo credit: Better Homes & Gardens

  1. Stick to Decorating the Outdoors Too much ghoulish distraction indoors will make the buyers feel as if they are touring a haunted home rather than a home for sale. …But don’t go overboard. Whatever you put outside, make sure it isn’t too scary, as you want your home to look appealing, not frightening. Focus on making it more seasonal-based by sticking to lots of pumpkins, cornstalks, gourds, etc. You don’t want the decorations to detract from features of the house. And if you go with pumpkins, it is recommended to use faux, as these don’t rot or give off an odor, or invite critters to lunch. Also avoid being the guy on the block with the inflatable yard decor [because] it will eclipse your yard sign.

  2. Inside Isn’t Entirely Off Limits. You won’t want to decorate heavily indoors, but candles and soaps in Halloween-inspired scents and colours are welcome additions to the kitchen and bathroom. The soaps can be neatly tucked into a small basket that you can leave on a counter. Candles also fit nicely on mantels, shelves and countertops - unless your countertops are small. If they are small, avoid putting too much on them, as you want to create the illusion of more space, not less.

  3. Keep Safety In Mind If you’re putting pumpkins or other decorations outside avoid lining your outside steps with them as you want to keep potential buyers safe when coming and going. If you have a porch, put them off to the side where no one can accidentally trip on them, or set them up on either side of your steps on your lawn. Note: It never hurts to check up on your homeowners insurance policy when you’re selling your home. Your insurance agent can tell you what sort of coverage you have in case someone gets hurt on your property so you are aware if the worst happens.

  4. Get Those Snapshots Before Decorating Hopefully your home gets taken off the market quickly, but just in case, it’s good to have timeless photos of your home as you don’t want to be on the market in January with Halloween decor in your photos.

  5. Don’t Forget to Clean Up Once Halloween has come and gone, take down decorations that were holiday-specific. And if you went with real pumpkins instead of fake ones, ditch those as well. After all, as Boiko pointed out, you don’t want them to smell or attract unwanted critters.

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