7 Ways of Staging Your Home for the Holidays


It’s that time of year again when family and friends descend on your home to carve the turkey, light the menorah or trim the tree. If you’re looking to sell your home during this busy time of year, making your home festive while also keeping it show-ready is a delicate balance.

The holidays can be a great time to sell your home; there’s less competition in the market and home shoppers are highly motivated. So if you’re looking to sell this holiday season try these tips to keep your home in the holiday spirit while on the market.

1. Be Tasteful at the Curb
Keep the tinsel, multi-colored lights and most of those blow-up characters in storage. The entrance to your home should be simple. Try using white lights for elegance or keep to a simple color scheme to highlight your home’s exterior colors. Use natural elements like pumpkins, seasonal flowers, and greenery. Don’t forget to hang a seasonal decorative wreath on your door or windows.

2. Light Up Your Home
With the days getting shorter, it’s important to focus on your light sources. When buyers or guests approach the house, have all your lights on to illuminate the home and lure them inside. If showing in the day, keep curtains open to let in natural light. You can even set the mood with lighting as well as sparking up candles and the fireplace to create a cozy, warm feeling.

3. Holiday Style Should Enhance Home Style
Every home has an architectural style – specific features that characterize a home – and you should include that style in your holiday décor. Let’s say you have a traditional home, classic or vintage decorations will accent better than contemporary decorations. Before you put up the holiday trimmings, make sure they match the home’s theme and color scheme to avoid any distractions.

4. Seasonal vs. Religious Décor
While Thanksgiving is commonly celebrated regardless of religious beliefs, Chanukah and Christmas are connected to their respective religions, and excessive religious decoration could be a turn-off for interested buyers. Keep your religious décor to a minimum and show your spirit with seasonal accents instead. Seasonal décor could be snowflakes, evergreen, winter branches, display wrapped gifts, ornaments, owls, reindeer, and more. Try not to use decorations that are too personalized, because buyers will have a hard time picturing themselves in the home.

5. Reuse Current Décor
To deflect from the religious décor, plan on using items that you normally have lying around your home. Reuse lanterns, candlesticks, vases or bowls, cake stands, picture frames and other accessories, but dress them up with festive trinkets to change the look of the piece. For example, place ornaments inside the lantern, add pinecones in an apothecary jar or use gold coins to show off at the bottom of a clear vase with white roses.

6. Pay Attention to the Color Scheme
When adding holiday décor in your home, you’ll want to think about the current colors your displaying. While silver and gold go with any color, Christmas bright red can clash with your light blue walls or be too bright for an earth tone color scheme. So, use colors that will complement the palette rather than be an eyesore.

7. Accentuate Your Home’s Positive Features
When staging a home, it’s important to make focal points stand out so avoid blocking beautiful views, cluttering up the shelves or mantel, built-ins or other unique features in your home. Rooms filled with decorations can feel smaller, so choose a few specific areas of the home to decorate and key accents to show off those highlighted features. If your house has a high ceiling, accentuate the space with a tall, narrow tree tastefully decorated to showcase the space.

Don’t forget to think about what the holiday might represent for your potential buyer, and then incorporate that into your home’s vignettes. Do they love to decorate the tree? Create a gingerbread house? Make apple cider? Create those reminders of the season for buyers in your home. Play into using the five senses: sight, sound, smell, touch and taste to make buyers emotionally connect to the space and feel at home.

Are you looking for more tips to keep guests in the holiday spirit and buyers eager to make an offer? Join us for a FREE Online Class on “10 Ways to Maintain a Show-Ready Home During the Holidays That Welcomes Guests (even unexpected ones).” Learn more here.

Tori Toth is a Certified Home Staging Expert, Regional Vice President for Real Estate Staging Association, owner of Stylish Stagers, Inc and the creator of the Stage 2 Sell Strategy home staging course. She has been interviewed on CNN Money and was named a Professional Stager of the Year Finalist in 2012.