Real Estate Tips for Staging Your Home During the Holidays | Nashville Christian Family Magazine - November 2023

Staging your home during the holiday season can be quite tricky and very personal.  How can you enjoy holiday decorations but not offend potential buyers? While some sellers prefer to wait until the holidays are over, not everyone can do that.  Oftentimes, it is actually a great time to sell, because there is less inventory on the market and more serious buyers who are anxious to buy a home and ring in the New Year. 

What can I do to stay living in my home while enjoying all the festivities?

The first thing you want to do is get photos of your listing before putting your property on the market. This means you avoid holiday decorating until your home hits the MLS (Multiple Listing Service).  I cannot stress this enough! You do not want to distract buyers in your listing photos with decorations you love, but they may not. It is also possible that your home will not sell as quickly as you had hoped, so using neutral décor is practical in case your home lingers online.

Another reason to wait on your festive themes is that over-decorating can actually make a room feel smaller and it keeps the buyer from visualizing themselves in the space. We want buyers to see themselves living in the home, and covering up key focal points, unique features, and blocking beautiful views could turn them away. The general guideline is to keep your home simple, cozy, neutral, and clean until the listing photos are complete.

Ways to Keep Your Home Staged After the Listing Photos:

Exterior of the home:

  • The porch/entrance should remain simple.
  • Display a tasteful wreath and door mat to welcome Buyers.
  • Use elements that are more natural.
  • Decorate for the season instead of the specific holiday.
  • Store the yard ornaments and whimsical decorations.
  • Use white lights for elegance.
  • Choose colors that match your home’s exterior colors.
  • Add seasonal evergreens and live plants if sustainable in your zone. 
  • Keep the front porch clear of leaves, snow, or debris.
  • Add a color “pop” with fresh mulch.
  • Make sure your house numbers are visible for Buyers to find you!

Interior of the home:

  • Keep within your home’s color scheme for a cohesive look.
  • Set your formal dining table.
  • Light your fireplace.
  • Decorate your mantle.
  • Use elements that are more natural.
  • Be sure that your Christmas tree is not too big for the space.
  • Select only the best of your decorations. You do not need every ornament.
  • Avoid “themes” and/or the names of your family members.
  • Set up Emotional Connection Points (ECP’s), by creating nice vignettes, pleasant smells (think cinnamon), and classical holiday music.
  • Go “light” on your indoor lights. Too many are distracting.
  • Add comfortable throws to create a warm and cozy feel.
  • Leave the small collectibles packed up until you are in your new home!

Holidays often create added stress and a list of “to-do’s”.  Give yourself permission to “K.I.S.S.” (Keep it Simply Staged) and you will find that the maintenance required for your Open Houses and Showings are much easier to manage. Once you have cleaned, decluttered, and removed the collectibles, add the touches back in that accentuate the positives, and draw attention to the home’s best features. As tempting as it is to decorate every space, you still want the home to look as spacious as possible. 

If you follow the guidelines above with the Buyers in mind, then you are off to a great start to enjoy your holidays in YOUR new home!

Julie Wills, ASP – Owner/Consultant, Fresh Look, LLC Occupied Home Staging Services

“Maximizing Your Home’s Appeal and Value” – [email protected], Proverbs 16:3

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