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(Selling a) Homes for the Holidays

12/20/2007, By Pamela Brill

Tastefully hanging decorations is essential, as is knowing when to pack up the tinsel and all the trimmings once the season is done. Ms. Maysonet recalled one seller who kept her Christmas tree up until April — a big no-no.

"I always recommend sellers keep it simple and elegant and once the holiday has passed, remove the decorations immediately," Ms. Pezenik said.

For sellers looking to create a festive atmosphere more subtly, real estate agents offer their suggestions for alternative décor, such as putting up flowers such as poinsettias, or baking cookies so the scent will invitingly waft through the living space.

"I knew a seller who would always put an apple pie loaded with cinnamon in the oven prior to any buyers coming over. Greeting cards hung on a window or refrigerator also hint at the season without going overboard," Mr. Signet said.

If the season comes and goes without an offer, that doesn't mean sellers should quickly abandon the idea that the home will sell. Agents said keeping a home neat and tidy is just as important year-round as it is during the holidays. That means no dishes in the sink or overflowing garbage pails, lights on, and blinds or curtains open to let in the sunlight.

"Everything has a place and a place for everything is my motto," Ms. Pezenik said.

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