Is your Halloween decor scaring away potential buyers?

Oct 24, 2023
Halloween Decor
Of all the fun that comes with Halloween, dressing our homes for the spooky season is one of the biggest traditions in the UK. Yet could our Halloween decor be scaring away potential buyers? According to a new survey from David Wilson Homes, they very well could be.

One in four buyers admit that excessive Halloween decor has once deterred them from purchasing a property.

Steve Mariner, Group Sales and Marketing Director at Barratt Developments said:

“Halloween brings plenty of fun for households, with the opportunity to decorate our homes with spooky decor. However, for homeowners with a property on the market, Halloween decorations can have a much bigger impact.

“For example, over-cluttering the exterior of your home can overwhelm prospective buyers and become distracting, which may even overshadow the high-value features of your house.”

Below, the experts at David Wilson Homes reveal six factors to consider this Halloween that have the potential to discourage potential buyers and impact the sale of your home.

1. Over-decorating

Going overboard with decorations can be overwhelming for potential buyers. Excessive decorations can overwhelm the visual appeal of your home’s exterior, and potential buyers may find it difficult to appreciate architectural features or the property’s overall charm.

Overly elaborate decorations may also be distracting and divert attention away from the property’s selling points.

Using fake spider webs, string, and netting not only hides the exterior features of your home that you should be spotlighting to buyers but can also prove harmful to local wildlife. Small animals, such as birds, may become entangled which can lead to injury.

To avoid over-decorating, opt for a specific theme that aligns with the décor and style of your home. Selecting a colour palette will allow decorations to blend in with your existing décor, meaning Halloween decorations can be incorporated subtly to maintain a cohesive look.

2. Safety concerns

Some decorations can present safety hazards. Large inflatables and tombstones can obstruct pathways, driveways, and entrances, which can make it difficult for prospective buyers to navigate the property during a viewing. Decorations that involve candles, such as in pumpkins, or flammable materials used in displays can pose a fire risk. They also have the potential to cause damage to your property.

In fact, homeowners could face fines of up to £5,000 if any accidents are caused by the dangerous condition of their property or the decorations they install, according to law in the UK, governed by the Occupier's Liability Act 1957 (Lawful Visitors) and Occupier's Liability Act 1984 (Persons other than Visitors).

Households should instead consider using LED candles or lights, be aware of placement, and secure decorations to prevent them from moving in strong winds.

3. Personalisation

Avid Halloween fans may be tempted to add a touch of personalisation to Halloween decor such as family names engraved on decorative tombstones or pumpkins, but sellers are strongly advised against doing this.

Personalisation caters to your preferred taste, but this may not resonate with the taste of prospective buyers. Buyers look for homes they can easily make their own, therefore personalised Halloween decor may hide the potential of your home from buyers.

4. Intense or frightening decorations

While it may be tempting to go all out for Halloween and immerse your home in the season, it’s advised for sellers to avoid decorations or props deemed too intense or frightening. Some buyers might feel uncomfortable viewing a home dressed head to toe in intimidating decor, such as anything violent or gruesome. You may also find yourself dealing with complaints from neighbours or the local council.

It’s important that your home creates a welcoming and inviting atmosphere, therefore focusing on neutral decor that still allows you to celebrate the spooky season while making your house attractive to potential buyers is key.

5. Loud, noisy props

For prospective buyers who may be local to the neighbourhood, sellers should remember to avoid any decorations that could be considered noisy. Excessive noise, especially in family-friendly areas, can be irritating and may lead to complaints.

6. Wild, natural decorations

One of the largest Halloween traditions involves pumpkin carving. Pumpkins are then displayed in the home to mark the season.

However, natural decorations, such as pumpkins and foliage can lead to rotting and decay. It’s best to check these decorations for signs of decay to maintain a clean, neat appearance for prospective buyers.

Such decorations can also be inviting for pests if left uncared for. It’s recommended that sellers clean and rinse areas of the home where they are planning to decorate, removing existing dirt and debris. Always inspect pumpkins and foliage before decorating, and ensure they are clear of any hidden insects.

Steve adds:

“During October, sellers should consider these top tips to prevent deterring house hunters from making an offer.”