Ah, Halloween—the holiday that’s a real treat for many but could turn into a trick if you’re trying to sell your home. At face value, Halloween seems harmless enough: playful costumes, delicious candy, and neighborhoods bustling with activity. However, as someone who’s trying to sell a home, you might want to navigate this spooky season with a bit more caution. After all, your aim is to make potential buyers fall in love with your property, not run away in fear.
So, let’s jump into the top 10 things you should absolutely avoid if you’re listing your house during the Halloween season.
Please note: The Cameron Team has not been paid or received any other compensation to include any of the products featured on this post, but the author has included affiliate links and content. If you click on a link, they may earn a commission – a high-five for great content!
1. Over-the-Top Decorations
A front yard that looks like a scene from a horror movie might be fun for the neighborhood kids, but it can be a turnoff for potential buyers. You don’t need to completely avoid the holiday fun but keep decorations tasteful and minimal. Remember, you want people to focus on your home, not the life-sized zombie emerging from your flower bed.
2. Spooky Indoor Decor
Prospective buyers should be envisioning their own décor inside the home, not sidestepping your cobweb-covered furniture. Keep the interior neutral and inviting. Deep clean each room and remove any extra furniture you aren’t using, because less furniture will make the rooms feel larger.
If you want to mix in some holiday or seasonal décor, go classy, not scary, and try to keep to a neutral color scheme with orange here and there. Limit the décor to your fireplace mantel, shelves, and tables, and try to keep each piece the size of a grapefruit or larger to keep your surfaces from looking cluttered. It may seem nitpicky, but it really does make a difference in how the rooms are perceived.
3. Dark and Creepy Ambiance
Sure, dim lighting might enhance your haunted house theme, but it can make spaces seem smaller and less appealing. Use ample, warm lighting to make your home seem open and inviting. And when we say “warm lighting”, we don’t mean…
Open your window coverings to let in as much natural light as possible, and make sure all your bulbs are working. For a warm-colored bulb, choose one that falls between 2700K and 3000K on the Kelvin scale. To brighten up your home, aim for 800 lumens (that’s equivalent to 60 watts). Not only will this help make your home feel larger, but it will make your home stand out when it’s time to take photos for the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).
4. Haunting Sounds
As tempting as it may be to play creepy sound effects or chilling music, it’s best to keep the atmosphere calm and serene. Some people like a good scare, while others will avoid submitting an offer if they feel like your home is haunted, even if it is artificial. The last thing you want is to spook your potential buyers—literally.
5. Trick or Treat Dilemma
If you normally hand out candy or are located in a neighborhood that’s very busy on Halloween night, we recommend blocking off showings for that evening. Buyers shouldn’t have to wade through a crowd of sugar-hyped kids to get to the front door. It’s common knowledge that if you leave your porch light on, you’re accepting Trick-or-Treaters. To avoid accidents and present your home in the best manner, you’ll want to leave all your lights on.
6. Allergen-Filled Treats
Sometimes, homeowners like to leave out treats for showings. They feel fresh baked cookies set a nice tone. If you are offering treats, consider potential food allergies. Stick to pre-packaged items that have a clearly listed set of ingredients.
7. Furry Friends in Costume
Your pets might look adorable dressed as mini witches or pumpkins, but not everyone is an animal lover. Keep pets out of the way during showings. Either take them with you or put them in a crate, so they aren’t rushing visitors.
8. Scary Odors
Let’s face it, Halloween activities can sometimes lead to lingering smells—think pumpkin guts or musty costumes. Make sure your home smells fresh and clean to create a welcoming environment. Open up the windows and air out the house. If you still feel self-conscious about any odors, use a seasonal plug-in, like Apple or Pumpkin Pie.
9. Neglecting Curb Appeal
Even if you choose to put up some Halloween décor, make sure your home’s exterior is well-kept. Rake those fall leaves and make sure the walkway is clear and well-lit. Cut down flowers in the garden beds that have died back for the year and put away empty and dead flowerpots. If your walkway or siding is looking green, gray, or black, have the home pressure washed. Many buyers are turned off by the existence of mold and mildew, even when it’s a regular occurrence on the coast.
10. Overpricing Your Haunted Mansion
Nothing scares potential buyers away faster than an overpriced home. Make sure your home is priced competitively for your market and be open to negotiations. This is especially important during the autumn months when the real estate market traditionally slows down.
Selling your home during Halloween doesn’t have to be a nightmare. By avoiding these scary pitfalls, you can make your home the treat that buyers are looking for this season. The right kind of attention to detail can go a long way in ensuring that you don’t spook away your potential buyers. After all, the ultimate goal is to sell your house for the best price, and that’s no trick. So, listen to these words of wisdom, and you’ll be far from having a horror story to tell.
If you’d like to chat about listing your home for sale, give us a call at (910) 233-2840. We promise we won’t ghost you!