Big Island

Selling Your Home? Don’t Deck the Halls Just Yet!

Pictured home: 31-230 Hawaii Belt Road, Ninole, HI 96773.

While listing your home during the holidays can result in serious showings, there may be a few extra things to consider. The commercialization of Christmas has moved the seasonal calendar back each year. Homes are decked out even before Thanksgiving. The sense of home created by holiday decorations may be great for showings but be careful — too much of a good thing can transform your living spaces from comfortable to cozy.

Careful with the Cozy

Cozy may sell in a ski resort, but it’s not necessarily what Hawai`i buyers are looking for. Over decorating can also make a huge difference to the on-line presence. Remember, over 90% of today’s buyers are now starting their search on-line. Like a house where a seller has too much stuff, decorations can make it difficult for a buyer to get a sense of the property.

Ghost of Christmas Past

I speak from personal experience. We once listed our home right before Christmas. From the looks of the photos, I was following the “more is better” school of decorating. The photos looked great. Trouble was, they were more appropriate for a Lillian Vernon Catalog than a house, and I quickly realized it was a mistake to have taken photos that included holiday decorations.

O Come All Ye Digital

One of the biggest benefits of the internet is that buyers arrive armed with much more information than those searching in a conventional fashion. Buyers, even local ones, want to make the most of their time; they are excited about the task at hand. They study on-line photos for even the smallest details in advance.

Too much holiday cheer cluttering the photo really hinders their efforts. Even in the best of circumstances, too much stuff tends to weigh down the home. Unfortunately, more often than not, holiday decorations in ad photos give the perception that the home has been listed since the previous year! When photos are left on-line after the holidays, it may help to add the year to the photo captions, but it’s really best to have the photos re-taken once decorations are removed.

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, selling at Christmas can be a great idea. Christmas showings can evoke an important sense of nostalgia, but it may be wise to focus less on Decking the Halls and more on having yourself a Merry LITTLE Christmas. After all, a sold home could have you singing Joy to the World before New Year’s rolls around.

About the Author

Denise Nakanishi

Denise Nakanishi is a REALTOR Broker with Hawai'i Life. Denise Nakanishi is one of Hilo's most acclaimed real estate agents. She reached the rank of Major in the US Army and is now known by many as "Major Mom." The nickname fits–not only does Denise bring the discipline and mission-oriented attitude you'd expect, she's also caring and compassionate, always looking out for her clients like they're her own family. Having made the Big Island her home since 1987, Denise combines her extensive knowledge of the area with a sharp focus on customer service and the results speak for themselves. She's the recent recipient of the Best East Hawai`i, Best of Zillow, Chairman's Circle Award, President's Circle, Top Producing Agent since 2001, and Realtor of the Year awards. Denise stays ahead of the curve because she's passionate about education–she served as Education Chair for Hawaii Island REALTORS® for many years. She's one of Big Island's best real estate resources, known for her weekly article in the Hawaii Tribune Herald. Denise leads Team Nakanishi for Hawai`i Life, who is committed to their family, work, and community. In her little time away from work, Denise is a committed runner and Grandy. She also devotes many hours to various Veterans' Organizations, the East Hawaii Cultural Center, and the Hawaii Island REALTORS®. You can email me at or via phone at (808) 936-5100.

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