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Allison James Estates and Homes understands that October is one of those special months that can trigger a chain of emotions that range from nostalgic to angst. However, for most of us, October denotes Fall, when days grow shorter and darkness is extended; it is the month when we take stock in the reality that winter is just around the corner and it might be time to purchase a new sweater; it also signifies the last stretch of the year when co-workers, family and friends become closer as we march inevitably down the last leg of our journey toward the New Year. October is also the time of Halloween.

From a marketing standpoint, consumers are deeply conditioned to participate in the occasion, as they will purchase millions of dollars of Halloween candy, spooky costumes, and plump orange pumpkins from drug store to farmers markets. Savvy marketers understand this psychological reaction, and anticipate October’s arrival with great hope.

The Psychological Connection Between Holidays and Homes

Clever realtors can also take advantage of the Halloween season by highlighting the psychological connection between holidays and homes. Being able to articulate a Halloween nuance during an open house can be a successful and fun way to close a sale. In fact, Michael J. Seiler, who teaches behavioral real estate in Norfolk, VA, believes that homebuyers become psychologically invested in a property even before they have reached a rational decision. Good home staging, according to Seiler, should trigger memories, illusions, and a sense of community.

But what are some good ideas when staging a home during the Halloween season? Well, here are just five great ideas that you can try this Halloween.

Five Great Halloween/October Staging Ideas

Balloon GhostsBalloon ghosts can be a fun and festive decoration idea that can be created by simply inflating a basic balloon, and then covering the balloon with a white plastic trash bag. You can even take a black magic marker and draw some eyes, nose and mouth to give it a real ghostly personality. To add an even more mysterious look, cover the balloon and plastic bag with see-through white fabric that can easily move in a soft breeze. These ghostly creatures can be hung in hallways or on walls throughout the house.

Scary Animal Cutouts  – The trick to this chilling adornment is to find some basic spooky animal patterns. Since you will be using the cutouts as silhouettes, try not to use complicated patterns. These can be rats, or cats, or bats. Simply outline the animal shape on a piece of black construction paper and then cut around the edges. After just a few minutes, you will have a collection of creepy animal silhouette shapes that you can attach to the floorboards or lower parts of any wall.

Creepy Candy Containers – Everybody likes candy during Halloween. For your Halloween staging event, try to find some decorative and unique containers that you can fill with Halloween candy. For an even more heightened sense of the occasion, create Halloween themed card signs (about the size of one index card cut in half) and decorate the cards with Halloween images that can be drawn or even cut out of magazines. Then attach Popsicle sticks to the small paper card signs, and place inside each candy container. By creating a collection, you will create an unmistakable Halloween decoration that will be fun and well received.

Silhouette Skull Portraits – This idea may sound strange but it is a great one for those with a little imagination. You will be using framed pictures, so if you have some old pieces of art lying around, gather the frames in one area. Then you will be drawing the outlines of various skeleton shaped heads on black construction paper. Remember, skeleton shapes don’t necessarily have to be spooky or mean looking. The idea is to create maybe three or four different portrait shaped heads on black construction paper that can be placed on a white piece of paper before being placed inside a basic picture frame. With a couple of these cutouts nicely mounted and hung in a specific area, you will have created at family portrait wall highlighting the folks from Transylvania!

The Classic Spider Webbed Chandelier – This is a great Halloween decoration that can be the highlight of any spooky staging effort. Some of the best-webbed chandeliers are made from an old umbrella. Take the material off the umbrella so that only the wires are visible. Now hang the umbrella upside-down and voila…you have a hanging chandelier. You can add plastic spiders or battery-operated lights to the structure as well. Use a package of spider webbing or cotton batting in order to create imitation cobwebs. Simply separate the batting into lots of smaller chunks, then start stretching the material over the umbrella chandelier to make spider webs of whatever shape and size you wish!

A Couple Of Watch-Outs For Realtors

  • Not everyone believes in Halloween. There are certain religious groups who are strongly opposed to this holiday, so be aware of potential backlash. If you feel potential buyers might not appreciate your efforts, don’t give them a negative first impression. Stay away from Halloween staging.
  • It is easy to get carried away. The key for any themed staging idea is to remember that less is more. Don’t overdo the theme because you will just create a very busy and cluttered appearance. A little Halloween goes a long way so one solution is to create one focal display rather than covering the whole house.
  • Timing is everything. Instead of decorating your open house for the entire month of October, try to focus the Halloween themed decorations on one or two days just before October 31st. This will get more attention and you will be showcasing the home as part of the neighborhood, and reemphasize the psychological connection between holidays and homes.


– Vincent Aviani

About Allison James Estates and Homes:

Founded in 2008, Allison James Estates and Homes (AJI) is ranked one of the top 20 real estate brokerage firms in the nation that uses a new business model based on cutting edge technology and remote agent representation. Every Allison James agent keeps 100 percent of their sales commission in exchange for a flat monthly fee. Headquartered in Carlsbad, CA, Allison James employs more than 1200 licensed real estate agents in 16 states. Since it founding, Allison James has experienced exponential year-over-year growth in both velocity and volume. In 2015, Allison James posted 9,600 completed real estate transactions valued at $2.8 billion.