Best Tips For Home Sellers Who Want to Rock Holiday Decor

Staging for The Holidays

Let’s face it, selling your home over the Christmas Holiday can be a challenge. It goes over, and above the usual inconveniences you must endure and the compromises to the rhythm of your family’s routine you must make when you sell. For most, it happens to be the busiest time of the year regarding shopping, family activities, and entertaining. A string of strangers looking in all your nooks and crannies is not at the top of your wish list.

Many sellers temporarily take their home off the market in December while others wait until January to list. However, there are buyers out there, and most of them that are house shopping in December are serious buyers. So for those sellers with a high level of motivation, the holidays can provide a unique opportunity for your home to shine. You can also get a step ahead of the competition who decide to fast forward to January.

Once you decide to market your home when bells on bobtails ring, the next question is should you decorate and if so what are the rules? Here, the basic rules of staging your home for any season apply. Keep everything clean, eliminate clutter and avoid the personal items in your choice of holiday decorations.

Now let’s drill down to the details. Here are my best tips for home sellers who want to rock their holiday décor.

Keep the Holiday Decorations Simple

If you want a genuinely minimal look when you stage your home for the holiday consider subtle touches such as a beautiful bowl filled with pinecones, a vase filled with holly branches, and an evergreen wreath over the mantle or in a large window.

Avoid Clutter and Over Decorating

You may love your Christmas village homes and antique Santa collection. This year keep them in storage. Give a light touch to the decorations and keep them generic and understated. You want people looking at your home, not at your collectibles. Limit your holiday décor to the public areas of your home. Pass on the holiday-themed towels in the bathrooms and candy cane shaped pillows in the bedroom.

Keep It Secular

Please skip the Nativity Scene and any other religious holiday ornaments. These may be offensive to some buyers, and this is not our goal when selling a home. Instead, choose decorations that represent winter like snowflakes, icicles, wreaths, and bells. Keep in mind that if not having your heirloom nativity on display is causing you undue angst you can always put it up for Christmas Eve and Day or whenever the family gathering occurs.

Don’t Fight Your Décor Compliment It

No law says that Holiday color themes must be red and green. If your color scheme is blue consider white snowflakes and crystal clear icicles. If your décor favors, the earthy neutrals consider decorations of gold and berry or forest green. And by all means, take advantage of the current popularity of metallics and consider using silver, bronze, and gold. 

The Word on a Tree

If your living space features soaring ceilings, a tall tree might be a show stopper but makes sure it doesn’t take up all the air in the room at the base. If you have small rooms, you should consider a small tree or pass on one altogether. For decorations, stick with the complementary color scheme and forego all the family heirloom ornaments. Let these three words be your mantra: keep it simple.

Create a Cozy Winter Vibe

Some furry, knitted, or velvet pillows and a soft, warm throw on the sofa is welcoming and cozy. Create ambiance with music, candle glow or a lighted fireplace. Turn the heat up a few degrees and make your home so inviting your buyers will never want to leave. Next step, offer!

Highlight Positive Features

Tasteful holiday décor can accentuate the attributes of your home. If you have a beautiful fireplace, call attention to it with some evergreen garland accented with pine cones over the mantle. Consider some lanterns or glass jars filled with beautiful glass balls to match your decorating palette. Skip the family stockings this year.

Rev Up the Holiday Curb Appeal

The theme of less is best applies to outside your home as well as inside. If you compete with your neighbor every year over who has the most outdoors lights, definitely cede the award. (Your neighbor did not pay me to write this) No inflatable snowmen, Santa, or penguins. If you have a beautiful tree or shrub in the front yard, a simple string of plain white lights would call attention to it. A wreath of greenery on the front door or a pot of seasonal greens on the steps would be the perfect touch.  

Hold an Open House

I’m a fan of Open Houses because if nothing else, they bring traffic and raise excitement about your home. Set the ambiance of welcoming coziness with some cinnamon spiced cider simmering on the stovetop. Bake some cookies before the scheduled start time, so the aroma fills your home and then serve the cookies and cider to any guests! Light the fireplace and play some music in the background. The Nutcracker would be a good choice. The last word, don’t neglect the walkway and steps leading to the front door. Keep the area well shoveled and ice free.

No one ever said selling your home over the winter holiday season would be easy. As you go through the challenges of the process keep your eye on the prize. Focus on the fact that next year you will be in your new home hauling in the big tree and covering it with all your favorite family heirlooms. 


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