Tips for a successful Christmas home sale

The Christmas holiday season can be a hectic time to sell your house, but there are distinct advantages in marketing your property during this time. After all, it's a chance to show your home adorned with decorations and a feeling of cheer.

If your home is on the market over Christmas, keep the following tips in mind...

* Street appeal is very important. First impressions count so make sure your home can be seen clearly from the street.

* Christmas lights, while attractive at night, don't do anything for your home during the day. Opt for a few well-placed lights instead of abundance.

* Clear paths and cut back trees that could possibly damage your home or cause injury to visitors.

* Consider placing a Christmas wreath on your front door and even a welcome holiday mat.

* Make sure the front door area is clear of clutter, including kids' toys, shoes, parcels or mail.

* Keep the house cool. Entering a hot house can give a negative impression, but at the same time, a cold house can also have a negative impact. If you have air conditioning put it on before the inspection.

* If your home is going on the market you may need to think a little more carefully about the Christmas tree you choose this year. If your house is on the small side, find a small tree - you don't want it to appear to take over the entire living or family room.

* Keep decorations on the conservative side. Not all home buyers may celebrate in the manner you do. You don't want to overwhelm with abundant displays of holiday cheer. You want your house to be noticed, not your decorations.

* If your house is being viewed in the evening, ask your agent if you should turn Christmas tree or other lights on, and if so, which ones.

* Bake holiday biscuits and treats. The enticing smell will be welcome to those viewing your house (be sure to leave some out for those inspecting your home).

Finally, keep in mind that the holiday adornments should enhance (not dominate) the house. You want to convey the love, comfort and joy your family has shared in the house; if it works, a new family will be anxious to move in and carve out their own Christmas memories.