Halloween is fast approaching and the chances are that all around your neighborhood zombies, skeletons, ghosts, goblins and ghouls are popping up everywhere, It’s a fun ‘holiday’ and most people love to get into the spirit of things (pardon the pun) by decorating their homes with scary stuff. But what if you’re trying to sell your house? Just how far can you go with Halloween decorations if you don’t want to scare off buyers?

The good news for Halloween lovers; you don’t have to forego decorations altogether (and the same is true of the other upcoming winter holidays by the way) In fact home buyers, who need to be able to imagine themselves, are often likely to be rather enchanted if they encounter a home for sale that they can see could look lovely over the holidays.

However, you should decorate carefully and in moderation. And there are certainly some things that you should never display. Here are some Halloween decoration routes to avoid if you don’t want to spook buyers.

Blood and Gore

Yes, that Walking Dead zombie tableau at the party store is really cool, but you should pass on it this year, even if you are Rick and Co’s biggest fan. Many people with young kids will be very unappreciative of decorations that depict murder, gore, and more. And speaking of kids don’t make use of any decorations that suggest dead or injured ones, because that kind of thing can be especially upsetting for some parents.

A Blood-Spattered Front Door

I’ve already said blood is a no-no, but just in case I wasn’t clear, writing scary messages in gory-looking red paint—even something as chipper as “Happy Halloween”—is a bad idea, too. 

Putrid Pumpkins

Real flowers, pumpkins, and other perishable decorations can make for a subtler and even rather stylish Halloween home decor display. But if you are going to make use of such things , make sure to keep them looking fresh. No one wants to see (or smell) produce that’s well past its prime, even if its supposed to be scary.

Too Many Decorations, Period

It’s rather easy to get carried away with the Halloween decorations as you get caught up in the fun, but don’t. You’re not trying to impress potential buyers with your decorating skills; you’re trying to impress them with your house, which can get buried if you’re not careful.

So now that we’ve covered what really isn’t appropriate to decorate a home for sale for Halloween, what is? Let’s take a look.

There are a lot of decorations and scary extras available in the shops right now but it’s the  Jack o Lantern that is most prominent and, for home sellers the most appropriate.  Adding  Jack O Lanterns to the porch or entry will add a little festive cheer without being offensive or over the top.

You don’t have to spend a fortune on a pre-made pumpkins though, it is easier than you might imagine to make your own. Here’s how:

To begin you need a good sized pumpkin. Some stores do actually sell specially grown ones designed for Jack O Lantern use, but as long as the outer skin is in good shape, any pumpkin will do.

Cut off the top of the pumpkin with a sharp knife, making a hole large enough so that you can then take a spoon or an ice cream scoop and scoop out all the pulp. If you are feeling very creative you can save the pulp to make a pie later (recipe to follow)

You can create Jack O’ Lantern magic using a sharp but small craft knife and a bit of imagination. The example in the featured image took more than a few knife skills though. If you are handy with a knife however there are some great patterns here. 

For the not so handy however, here are just a few ideas that are relatively easy to execute and will actually add to the curb appeal of your home for sale rather than detract from it.

Simply Autumn 

Jack O’ Lanterns can be stylish rather than scary as these leaf pattern pumpkins prove. The simple cutouts were based around leaf tracings and a small votive candle inserted in the center adds a soft, welcoming glow that visitors should find more charming than creepy.

Double Duty Jack O Lanterns 

One of the challenges for the homeowner selling their property in the colder months in terms of curb appeal is a lack of life. Life as in flowers and shrubs, as most of those have faded away for the season, often leaving things looking very bare. These carved pumpkins are a great idea in such situations as not only do they add a subtle scary season touch but also serve as a vase for some great autumn blooms that will bring a little natural color back into the equation.

Spooky Beauty

This is another fabulous curb appeal enhancing Halloween decor and it does not even call for knife skills! The pumpkins were spray painted, as was the thrift store find planter to create an entrance way display that also provides the homeowner with a creative and clever way to ensure that drive by home shoppers don’t forget their house number! If you do choose to go the paint spray route monochrome is a wonderful look, and they can even be used indoors without appearing too jarring or out of synch with your home staging

It should be noted that these are all great ideas for those of you not selling your home, but just looking to keep your Halloween decor on the more sophisticated side. 

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Just Organized By Taya

Taya Wright, Owner and Principal at Just Organized by Taya
Just Organized by Taya, led by RESA Certified Home Stager and Professional Organizer Taya Wright, offers home staging and home and life organization services, in addition to interior styling services to residents across the Greater Houston area.
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