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Christmas Countdown

CandleCentrepieceAnd so it begins!  ... 

Everywhere you go, the shops are filling up with gifts, decorations and all manner of festive goodies to tempt us to part with our hard-earned cash.

But Christmas can be bad news for homesellers ...

While the High Street may be bustling with shoppers eager to flex their cards to ensure they have a Merry Christmas, this is traditionally a very slow time of year for house sales. Most people don’t want the additional hassle of moving house just before Christmas – especially if they have children.

This is bad news for all homeowners wanting to sell their home....

...and particularly so for those of you whose home has been on the market for some time already.

Turn the Christmas slowdown to your Advantage

But you turn this slowdown in the property market to your advantage if you make use of this time to spruce up your home and garden, and catch up with any little DIY jobs that need attention.

Whether you are selling your home or not, you should include in your festive preparations a good de-clutter and thorough house clean, and take the opportunity to get rid of any unwanted books and toys by giving them to friends with younger children, charity shops, local playgroups, or selling them at internet auctions or car boot sales.

It is worth investing some time and effort now as, if you are selling, it will make your move so much smoother when you have sold your property and are moving to your new home some time in the New Year. If you are staying put, it will give you more room for the all new toys that will no doubt arrive on Christmas morning!


You may wish to invest in a home staging consultation to make sure that you have the best possible head start in the New Year when the buyers come flooding back into the market.

Don’t forget, it’s not just buyers that return to the property market in January, this is also the time that many people decide to put their house on the market, so you will also be competing with an influx of new properties – therefore, you must do your utmost to make sure that your home ‘stands out from the crowd’ if you really want to move on up the property ladder.

If you are staying on the market over the Christmas period, then combine home staging with festive staging to ensure that your home looks as enticing as possible to impress any last-minute pre-Christmas viewers.

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You can be sure that they will remember your home fondly when they return to the house market as serious buyers in January. If your home has been on the market for some time without any serious offers, then it may be worth considering taking it off the market until after Christmas and maybe using a different Agent in the New Year.


It is important to think very carefully about your festive decorations if your home is on the market over the Christmas/New Year period.

Do you normally have the biggest tree you can find, and use every decoration you have ever bought on it?

Do you stick your Christmas cards on the back of your doors, or hang them on strings on the wall?

Do you decorate your main rooms with multi-coloured shiny decorations?

Do you put an inflatable Reindeer and Sleigh on your roof?

Do you try to squeeze in extra chairs/tables etc to accommodate extra guests for dinner?

Do you put up spare beds in your bedrooms for visiting relatives?

If you do any of these, just think how cluttered and cramped your home is going to look to any potential buyers who view your home.

The current trend seems to be that we start decorating our homes in early December, some even start in November – particularly if you have young children eager to see Santa! If they have made decorations at school, let them decorate their own bedrooms with them (under supervision, of course) as potential buyers are more forgiving of children’s rooms, especially at Christmas.

Try to hold off as long as you can before decorating the rest of the house, perhaps a week or so before Christmas, and keep the decorations as harmonious in scale and style to your home as possible.

Also, try to avoid adding any additional furniture to your rooms; every item you add will ‘steal’ your space, and make your home seem smaller than it really is. If necessary, use plastic stackable garden tables/chairs that you can store in the garage when not in use, and use air beds/inflatable mattresses to accommodate overnight guests. This way, you can quickly ‘clear the decks’ for any last-minute viewings.

Instead of trying to squash your tree into a corner, consider moving a piece of furniture out of your living space into your garage, so that you can give your tree ‘pride of place’ without making your room seem cramped. 


If you are lucky enough to have a traditional style fireplace in your living room, dress it for the occasion, and make sure you have a fire glowing for any viewings.

xmas fireplaceKeep the decorations simple and natural – if Holly and Ivy grows in your garden (or one of your neighbours may be glad to get rid of some clippings) it will last roughly 2 weeks in the house once cut – longer if you place them in a damp oasis as table and mantel decorations, and best of all, they’re free!

They also look gorgeous entwined together and draped around large pictures and mirrors, or above doorways – include berries for additional colour if you can, even artificial ones look fine when used with real Holly and Ivy. Go for a walk in the woods and collect Pine cones, then mix them with cinnamon scented Pot Pourri for a really festive feel.

If you have a dining table, make sure that you only have the matching chairs around it for viewings, and dress the table as if you were entertaining.

A Holly, Ivy and Berry centrepiece, with lit candles would be perfect in a traditional home. A contemporary twist can be achieved simply by spraying the Holly silver, adding some small silver baubles, and placing the whole arrangement on a chrome or leather platter.

Finally, add some richly-coloured, textured throws and cushions to suit the style of your home, and consider hanging heavier curtains for the winter as they give a really sumptuous feel to any room.

Well, we hope you feel newly-motivated to make your home as attractive as possible – both for your own family for Christmas, and for your potential buyers!

Above all, have fun, a Happy Holidays, and a Very Merry Christmas – and look forward to a quick sale in the New Year!