Your house is for sale. Should you decorate for Halloween?


Once upon a time Halloween was a kids’ holiday. Parents decorated a little just to please their children or perhaps the neighborhood children.

Now, it’s become one of the biggest holidays of the year. I read
recently that aside from gifts, Americans spend more money on Halloween than they do on Christmas. Adults buy costumes these days – and attend parties.

People go to great lengths to decorate their homes, both inside and out. In addition to cardboard, plastic, and ceramic figurines, black and orange lights, giant spiders, and fake cobwebs, you can purchaseHalloween dinner-wear, underwear, t-shirts, vests, and even trash bags. And then of course there’s the candy.

If YOU love to go all-out decorating for Halloween, should you do it this year, when your home is for sale?

I’d have to offer the same advice that we offer for Christmas: Decorate, but do it sparingly and tastefully.

An entire yard filled with headstones, skeletons, pumpkins, witches, and black cats can distract people from looking at the house itself. Instead, consider placing a bundle of corn stalks and somejack-o-lanterns near the front door. You could also add a pot or three of mums in seasonal colors.

Too much is also too much indoors. A few decorations are fine, but don’t over-do it, and don’t add so much that the rooms become cluttered. Remember, a cluttered room looks smaller than it is.

If you’ve had your home staged for showing, contact your stager and ask for advice.

She might recommend something like adding a jack-o-lantern cookie jar, a tall black vase with orange and black flowers, or ceramic black cats.She probably won’t suggest adding fake cob webs in the doorways.

Right now your job is to show your home to its best advantage. That means you don’t want to do anything that will take the focus off the features and benefits it offers to prospective buyers.

Just as family photos, trophies, and collections distract buyers, so will an abundance of holiday decorations – whether for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any other occasion.

Present your home well, and this time next year you can decorate a new home to your heart’s content.