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Tips to sell your home during the holidays

Dear Santa,

Please bring us a buyer for our home.

It's been staged with holiday TLC. May they bring a huge pile of cash or a nice preapproval letter.

Thank you,

Stressed-out Home Seller

So, it's that time of year — the holidays. The time of year that you celebrate, shop, decorate, wrap, mail and bake. And, oh wait, you also have to sell your house! • Before you freak out, here are some helpful interiors tips to assist in selling your house quickly, even with the slowdown in house hunting during the months of November and December. The good news is that the buyers that are out there are serious and motivated.

Clean and edit

This is the No. 1 priority when selling your home — any time of the year. You want your home to show at its absolute best, which means light, bright and squeaky clean. Remove all of the counter clutter, stacks of magazines and other trinkets around the house.

Deck the halls

Yes, definitely decorate for the holidays. This does make a home warm, inviting and festive. But "less is more" definitely holds true, as the goal is to have your home appear spacious and open.

Put your prized nutcracker figurines, and for that matter most of your holiday pieces, in storage. Display no more than three pieces on any tabletop.

The palette of your decorations should match your home interiors. For example, if you have a pale blue interior, add subtle silver decorations — not big red bows. Place a tasteful wreath on the front door. Or place a beautiful menorah in your large picture window.

Trim the tree

A tall Christmas tree is great if you are trying to accentuate a two-story foyer or great room, but otherwise, opt for a smaller and thinner tree than you typically might have.

Use a cohesive color scheme and theme for the ornaments that you used for your interior holiday decor. Don't display Aunt Lola's special heirloom ornaments and the children's school made decorations.

Remember that if the buyers are admiring your collection, they won't be paying attention to your home — that you want to sell.

Wrap the gifts

The gift wrap you choose should complement the color and style of your decor and tree. Limit the gift wrap to a beautiful neutral color such as silver or gold metallic, then choose colorful ribbon that matches the rest of your scheme. Also limit the number of gifts under the tree. If it begins to overflow, go ahead and put the gifts received from others in the closet.

Don't get personal

It's always recommended that you remove all or most family photos, no matter what time of the year you are selling. During the holidays, take this one step further. Keep the personalized stockings over the fireplace put away. Don't display all of the holiday cards you've received; keep these in a small basket out of the way. The potential buyers need to feel that this could be their home.

Stir the senses

Set the mood during your open houses. Have classical seasonal music playing, light the fireplace, simmer some apple cider on the stove, and set out some delicious holiday cookies. Light some candles with wonderful winter fragrances. Pinecones, evergreen or flowers like paper whites make beautiful centerpieces. Drape a cozy blanket over a reading chair. The more senses you can stimulate, the more alluring your home will be.

Keep wide appeal

Keep specific religious or cultural decorations packed away. You want to appeal to the largest group of people, so you don't want to offend anyone. This can be difficult, but remember that next year you will be enjoying the holidays in your new home.

Michelle Jennings Wiebe, ASID, is president and principal designer of Studio M in Tampa. You can reach her at (813) 221-5260 or email her at designer@interiorsbystudiom.com. For more information about Studio M, go to interiorsbystudiom.com.

Tips to sell your home during the holidays 11/24/12 [Last modified: Saturday, November 24, 2012 3:31am]

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