Planning to deck your house out with ghosts and skeletons and every last one of the pumpkins and gourds in your supermarket’s produce department? If you’re also planning to sell your home, you might want to rethink that strategy.
There are mixed opinions on how much to decorate for Halloween—or if you should at all—when selling your home. Can it actually help you sell a home if you turn the holiday into a marketing opportunity? Possibly. We took the temperate of the industry for some guidance.
When should you put up your decorations?
You may want to keep an eye on your neighbors for this one. If you’re the first house on the block to decorate, your home may stand out for the wrong reasons. If you’re still worried that your Halloween décor may distract from the home, follow Mass Realty’s advice. “Overall, you won't want to put up spooky Halloween decorations until the night of Halloween and make sure to take them down the next morning,” they said. “Instead, it's alright to put up seasonal decorations, such as pumpkins, bright leaves, or colorful corn cobs. That way, no one gets offended and you can keep them up for weeks to feel the spirit of the season.”
Should you continue your annual spooky theme?
You may be known for your elaborate displays that have a different theme (Friday the 13th, Carrie) each year, but perhaps it’s best to forgo that when trying to sell your home. “If Halloween is your holiday, it is best to take a break this year,” said Shorewest Realtors. “Over decorating will hide your home and turn off potential buyers. Instead think of how you will decorate your new home!”
If you do want to add some Halloween-specific decorations, use common sense. “Experts say keep Halloween decorations neutral,” said Lyst House. “So what Halloween decorations should you avoid? Well for starters…clowns, dead children, blood and gore, and rotten pumpkins.”
Time your listing photos right
Be careful with your listing photos if you do decorate for Halloween. If your home is still for sale come Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s and even Valentine’s Day, your photos will look extremely dated. This will likely turn off buyers, who may wonder what’s wrong with you home because it’s been on the market a while. A good tip is to use spring photos, if possible, said Fortune Builders. “If you can, try to take property photos when the sun is shining and you can take advantage of all the great natural light that spring has to offer. It will help your property stand out in a cold (and gloomy) market.”
Don't miss a marketing opportunity
“If you must decorate for the holiday, hold a Halloween open house to attract buyers with children or those young at heart,” said Mass Realty. “Set the date for the weekend before the spooky holiday to bring in more potential buyers. Offer homemade cookies and a $10 gift certificate to an ice cream shop for the adult with the best costume who registers at the door. Take photos to compare costumes after the open house. Have your real estate agent contact the winner to pick up the prize, giving the agent time to discuss the home with all who registered.”
Turn it into a party
We love this idea from Opendoor, who threw Halloween Open Houses in three Arizona cities on Halloween night last year. “We greeted trick-or-treaters at three Opendoor houses in Glendale, Gilbert, and in North Central Phoenix,” they said. “We gave out more than 1,000 candy bars…as well as other tasty treats. We had games and activities for the whole family, including a fun real estate trivia game. The big hit, though, was the haunted GIF photo booth to capture the fabulous costumes of our visitors—we had lines at every house! The event was a huge success. We saw more than 1,200 guests across all three homes and, more importantly, we brought our neighbors across the valley together on Halloween night.”